Brexit concerns leave businesses downbeat
Brexit concerns weighed on business sentiment in the run-up to yesterday's Withdrawal Agreement deal in Brussels, and retailers in the Border area are the most downbeat in the country.
Bank of Ireland's regular Economic Pulse gauge of consumer and business sentiment came in at 89.9 for November. The 'Pulse' tracks sentiment and the latest result is down 2.7 on last month and 0.6 lower than a year ago.
In the run-up to Christmas the picture across the country is generally positive. One in five households expect to spend more on presents this year compared to 2017.
Retailers in the Border area are less upbeat than elsewhere though; just 12pc there expect a better festive period versus 35pc in Dublin and 39pc in Munster. "This owes much to the weak pound which will likely lead to a flurry of cross-Border shopping trips and is an issue for exporters to the UK as well," according to Bank of Ireland chief economist Dr Loretta O'Sullivan.
Meanwhile, a report to be launched today by the Cork Chamber and the British Embassy in Ireland found that despite the impending Brexit changes, 93pc of survey respondents envisage future potential for expanded collaboration between the UK and Ireland. Tánaiste Simon Coveney and British Ambassador to Ireland Robin Barnett will launch the report today. The results are based on a survey conducted by Cork Chamber with 43 organisations to build insights representative of business, academia and research.