Sunday 15 September 2019

Brexit fears continue to hit business sentiment


Bank of Ireland group chief economist Loretta O’Sullivan. Photo: David Conachy
Bank of Ireland group chief economist Loretta O’Sullivan. Photo: David Conachy
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Brexit continues to hit business sentiment in Ireland, with the retail and construction sector particularly affected, according to the latest Bank of Ireland economic pulse out today.

Increasingly negative information on the potential damage of a no-deal Brexit on the Irish economy in the short term is creating nervousness among both businesses and consumers causing the data to hit a new low.

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Bank of Ireland group chief economist Loretta O'Sullivan said the latest pulses reading of 79.1 - which is down 3.7 points on last month - shows households and firms are "understandably" concerned.

"As the recent Central Bank and our own analyses show, if the UK leaves the European Union without a deal at the end of October, the Irish economy could suffer badly.

"So households and firms are understandably worried," she said.

The business pulse was down 3.3 points at 79.9. While the industry pulse was little changed, both retail and construction data took a tumble this month.

Fears of a no-deal Brexit come October have risen, affecting the general mood, with the lack of clarity around domestic policy measures like 'Help to Buy' also weighing on building sentiment, according to the report.

Elsewhere, the services pulse eased back as firms downgraded their near-term expectations for business activity and hiring.

The consumer pulse came in at 76.0 in August, down 5.5 on last month to mark a new low for the series. The buying mood was also softer in August despite the summer sales, whereas savings sentiment was "a touch firmer".

Irish Independent

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