Brexit fears hitting business sentiment across all sectors
Continuing Brexit uncertainty pushed down business sentiment this month, according to Bank of Ireland's latest 'Economic Pulse' survey.
Sentiment was down across all sectors, the report said, with firms in industry, services and construction reporting softer order books.
Almost 60pc of companies said they had put investment plans for this year on hold.
"A range of factors were mentioned as having an impact on businesses' investment plans," said Bank of Ireland chief economist Loretta O'Sullivan.
"Demand from customers is generally seen as supportive, as are financial conditions and technical factors.
"Uncertainty is a constraint though, with Brexit trumping US policies in the uncertainty stakes."
The report also measured consumer sentiment, which Bank of Ireland said was boosted by good news on jobs and wages.
However the bank said households remain gloomy about the outlook overall, also as a result of Brexit.