Friday 23 February 2018

Brexit won't be 'damp squib', firms warned

Economist Neil Gibson
Economist Neil Gibson
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

Firms have been warned not to allow Ireland's strong economic growth to fool them into not preparing for the big challenges of Brexit.

Neil Gibson, EY's new chief economist for Ireland, said some smaller firms in particular thought that the effects of the Brexit vote would not be as bad as had been thought.

"You would be unwise to dismiss the recent performance [of the economy] as saying Brexit will be a damp squib, because the big decisions haven't been taken," said Mr Gibson.

"There is a sense that this really strong growth could let people take their eye of the ball of scenario planning."

He added: "Growth is good, but don't get complacent; the big challenges of Brexit are still ahead."

The Department of Finance is forecasting the economy will grow by 4.3pc this year, before falling back to 3.7pc in 2018, 3.1pc in 2019 and 2.7pc in 2020.

A former professor with Ulster University, Mr Gibson, who has been an economic adviser to the firm for more than 10 years, will provide economic analysis and insight to clients on a range of issues arising from continued change within Ireland's economic landscape.

Mr Gibson said the level of fear around Brexit was not overriding firms' ability to do business on a day-to-day basis, however.

Irish Independent

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