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Confidence at two-year high with more jobs

CONFIDENCE among Irish businesses is at its highest in two years, a survey has found.

And for the first time in four years, businesses around the world are more optimistic than pessimistic about the future.

The annual business index from multinational software company Sage surveys close to 14,000 small and medium seized businesses in 18 countries.

But businesses are calling on Finance Minister Michael Noonan to do more in the Budget to help exporting companies.

Brendan Flaherty, Sage UK and Ireland chief executive, said it was encouraging that confidence continues to build in our economy.


"This is underlined by other positive economic indicators such as the recent Exchequer figures that showed increasing consumer confidence in the domestic economy and lower unemployment rates," he said.

Irish businesses are more optimistic about their own prospects with confidence rising 2.92 points to 64.99 in 2014, the highest it has been in two years.

Business confidence in the national economy has also seen a large increase. Irish businesses think the economy is improving, with confidence up 10.45 points to 58.67.

But only one-in-ten Irish managers feel they are supported in their ambitions to grow their exports.

Over a third think that the one thing that the Government should be doing to help businesses grow exports is offering greater financial incentives.

"More must be done to support businesses with ambitions to grow their exports - a key factor in the continued growth of the Irish economy and something that should be addressed in next week's Budget," Mr Flaherty added.