Wednesday 21 February 2018

IDA says over 9,000 jobs to be created from first half investments, warns full impact of Brexit won't be known for some time

IDA boss Martin Shanahan. Photo: Mark Condren
IDA boss Martin Shanahan. Photo: Mark Condren

INVESTMENTS made by IDA Ireland-backed firms in the first half of the year will create over 9,000 jobs in the coming months and years, the agency said today.

And it added that the impact of the UK's decision to leave the EU could present opportunities for Ireland although it warned the full effects of the move will not be known for some time.

“Ireland’s stability, the certainty on EU membership and therefore access to the European market, coupled with the strong value proposition that Ireland already offers would be important in the period ahead,” Martin Shanahan, IDA chief executive said. “This value proposition also includes access to talent (both Irish and European), a competitive, transparent and consistent taxation regime and the ease of doing business.”

He added:  “Similarities between Ireland and the UK and attributes such as being English speaking, a common law system and geographic proximity means that Ireland will be the first choice for many companies that require a base within the European Union.”

The agency works with multinationals who want to locate operations in Ireland.

Strongly performing sectors in the first six months of the year included technology and services.

Ireland won 115 projects in the six months compared with 110 in the same period last year.

Meanwhile, consumer sentiment hit a four-month high in June, just ahead of the British vote to leave the European Union.

 The Brexit vote Brexit is likely to hit sentiment in the coming months but unlikely to prompt a collapse, according to the authors of the KBC Bank Ireland/ESRI consumer sentiment index.

This country having more to lose from Brexit than other European Union member, the report said/

The KBC Bank Ireland/ESRI Consumer Sentiment Index rose to 103.4 in June from 98.1 in May. It is now close to the same level it was at a year ago, but off the a 15-year high in January.

"By increasing both uncertainty and downside risks to the economic outlook, Brexit is likely to weigh on Irish consumer sentiment in the coming months," KBC chief economist Austin Hughes said.

"Consumer sentiment readings could remain very 'choppy' in the near-term with a risk of clearly softer readings in the next month or two. However, while we expect some weakening in sentiment, we don't expect any dramatic deterioration."

Ireland's economy has grown faster than any other in Europe for the last three years and is expected to do so again in 2016, with a 4.9 percent expansion forecast. The government has cut its forecast for 2017 to around 3.4 percent from 3.9 percent, however, and warned that worse could be ahead if Britain strikes an unfavourable post-Brexit deal with the EU



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