Confidence among Irish chief executives about the economy and their business prospects is at its highest levels since the financial crash, according to a new study.
The PwC 2015 Irish CEO Pulse Survey found that of the 229 Irish CEOs surveyed 92pc were confident in the economy up from 86pc last year and in stark contrast from only 3pc in 2009.
A similar proportion, 82pc, are confident about the prospects for their own business, up from 77pc last year. Nearly three-quarters anticipate growth in net profits.
The study also found that 59pc are planning on expanding their workforce, the highest level recorded in a decade.
The companies surveyed together plan to create over 4,500 new jobs.
However, three quarters of chief executives reported concern over skills shortages while two thirds said they expect increased competition from sectors other than their own, compared to 56pc of chief executives globally.
Challenges cited by CEOs include political change, 83pc, currency, 82pc, and rising labour costs, 80pc.
Despite this PwC Managing Partner Feargal O'Rourke said that the survey confirms that confidence in the economy “is at its highest since 2009”.
He said: “Over eight out of ten Irish business leaders are also positive about prospects for their own businesses. The majority plan to expand the workforce and capital expenditure, both at an all-time high since the survey commenced in 2006. Most of this growth is expected to be organic, from within existing markets.
He added: “Just one in ten expect to target new markets and enter into a new merger or acquisition.
“The survey reveals that there will be significant business disruption in the future with the majority expecting this to come from sectors other than their own and largely technology driven.”