Revival in economy 'beyond the horizon'
Hard-pressed Irish businesses aren't expecting their fortunes to turn any time soon. Almost half of business owners believe it will be another two-and-a-half years before the domestic economy picks up again -- with a meagre 1 per cent expecting the economy to pick up by the end of this year, the Sunday Independent Business Owners Survey has found.
Just over one-in-five believe it will take longer than three years for the local economy to start recovering.
This mirrors the findings in a report published by the Small Firms Association last week, which found that small business owners are more pessimistic about the business environment now than they have been at any other time since December 2009.
This pessimism has not been alleviated by Taoiseach Enda Kenny's insistence last month to stick to the harsh cutbacks planned for the next few years budgets -- despite securing a cut in the interest rate paid on Ireland's massive €67.5bn bailout loan.
The cutbacks on the cards are expected to prolong the worst economic downturn to have faced this country since the 1980s.
Meanwhile, almost one-in-four entrepreneurs believe they will make a loss this year -- which is slightly higher than the number that expected to make a loss when this survey was conducted in 2010.
More than half of those polled expect their profits to remain flat this year -- and almost one-in-five expect to swallow a dip in profits. Only 7 per cent expect their profits to increase.
Sunday Indo Business