Fewer insolvencies, more startups outside Dublin
New figures on company formations indicate Ireland's economic recovery is spreading beyond Dublin.
A report by business and credit risk analyst Vision-net.ie reveals increasing numbers of new companies being formed in the regions, and falling numbers of insolvencies in rural counties.
Wexford, Cork and Donegal had the highest increase in startups compared to last year.
The number of companies being set up was 21pc higher year-on-year in the first half, the report says.
With the exception of January, every month saw a year-on-year jump.
Vision-net.ie managing director Christine Cullen said the figures show "a continuing strengthening of our economic recovery, with particularly positive indications that the recovery has begun to spread beyond large urban growth centres to more rural counties".
The report says the financial services sector had the biggest increase in startups, but professional services remains the most popular industry.
"The increase in new financial services companies could bode well for Ireland's financial services sector seeking to capitalise on post-Brexit opportunities, as UK companies look to Ireland for market entry to the EU," Ms Cullen said.
"These figures cover the first six months of 2016 and do not show any sign that the then-impending UK referendum impacted on Irish economic growth. The situation may change in the next six months.
"Ireland's economic recovery in recent months has been linked closely with a restoration of business confidence. Brexit has now created a period of, at worst, greater uncertainty; at best, the adoption of a wait-and-see approach. Neither are helpful to Irish economic growth at this critical juncture in our recovery," she added.
Other sectors that experienced strong startup growth were utilities, construction and transport. The agriculture and real estate sectors both posted a year-on-year fall.
Insolvencies fell 12pc compared with last year, with Meath, Louth, Galway, Westmeath and Donegal seeing significant drops. In sectoral terms, hospitality and real estate saw a 41pc and 32pc drop in insolvencies respectively.