Business sentiment at highest level since 2006
BUSINESS sentiment here has reached its highest level in eight years.
All sectors have reported an improvement in business conditions, according to the latest KBC Bank of Ireland/Chartered Accountants Ireland Business Sentiment index.
Business chiefs also claimed that Budget 2015 will have a "modest" positive impact on employment and also help bolster investment.
Austin Hughes, KBC Bank Ireland chief economist, said the strongest element in the autumn survey was companies' assessment of their own business volumes in the past three months.
Almost 60pc of firms indicated levels had increased, with only 9pc reporting weaker conditions. "The recovery seems to be broadening across sectors and firms and a further improvement is expected in the final three months of the year," Mr Hughes said.
Key findings from the latest index show that sentiment climbed to 124.8 from 121.8 between April and June.
The gains were driven by stronger activity of late, with 59pc of firms reporting a pick-up. Employment is growing more modestly, but 35pc of firms have boosted hiring.
Pat Costello, Chartered Accountants Ireland chief executive, said the results show a broad-based pick up in activity as well as greater confidence.
"Companies' assessment of Budget 2015 was broadly favourable, with 13pc of firms intending to increase their hiring next year as a result," he said.
Top locations for business
2: New Zealand
3: Hong Kong
5: South Korea