Brexit blamed as optimism among Irish businesses falls to nine-year low

Brexit blamed as optimism among Irish businesses falls to nine-year low
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Optimism among Irish businesses has fallen to a nine-year low, a new report has found.

The AIB Ireland Business Activity Report also shows that profitability expectations in Irish companies hit its lowest in over eight years as uncertainty remains around the circumstances of the UK leaving the European Union.

On top of that, growth expectations are also on a downward trend with hiring optimism also at its weakest point since the summer of 2012.

“While still in positive territory the latest round of data gathered for the AIB Ireland Business Activity Report shows a continued period of reduced optimism among Irish businesses," explained Hilary Gormley, Head of Business Banking, AIB.

"It is clear that the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Brexit and its broader potential impact on the Irish economy is dampening sentiment across sectors with reduced optimism evidenced in many areas such as profitability, future capital expenditure and costs."

It isn't all bad news as Irish firms forecast a greater increase in research and development spending.

"R&D investment is a catalyst for new growth and the willingness to invest shows the resilience and forward planning of Irish firms to explore new products and markets and insulate themselves from some of the direct threats of Brexit,” Ms Gormely said.

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