Two in five executives fear 'double dip' recession
We polled Ireland's top 300 bosses, asking all the hard questions, for the Sunday Independent Business Leaders Survey 2010
Almost 40 per cent of Ireland's top chief executives fear the country may face a "double dip" recession, according to the Sunday Independent Business Leaders Survey, a poll of Ireland's top 300 businesses.
Economists have suggested the recession may technically end this year, with modest growth pencilled in, as Ireland piggybacks on a global recovery. But this growth may be short-lived as spiralling public debts, shattered consumer confidence, rising unemployment and potential interest rate hikes drive the country back into recession.
The survey found that 39 per cent expected a "double dip", just ahead of 38 per cent of respondents who forecast that Ireland would escape a second recession. Almost 23 per cent were undecided.
The American Chamber of Commerce estimates that up to 40 per cent of Ireland's corporation tax comes from US subsidiaries based here, and, if the recession deepens in the US, exports from Ireland will be hit further.
The prospects for Ireland over the coming 12 months are grim according to the business elite, with only one in seven confident the economy will improve.
Brian Lenihan said last week in the Dail that "others believe in us; we must now begin to believe in ourselves", but it seems that the majority of Ireland's head honchos have long since stopped believing.
Of those polled, 43 per cent were either "negative" or "very negative" about our economic prospects, with almost as many unsure. A mere 14 per cent believed it was going to be a good year for the country and the economy, despite the tough year they had in 2009.
The threat of a "double dip" recession or "W-shaped recovery" was highlighted by top economist Nouriel Roubini, the man who predicted the financial crisis of the last three years. Along with Roubini, some economists believe global economies will decline again once the crutch of state bailouts and various stimulus packages are removed.