The amount of companies on the island of Ireland considering themselves to be in growth mode has risen by 30% in the past 12 months or so.
According to the latest quarterly business monitor from the Newry-headquartered all-island trade body, InterTrade Ireland, the percentage of businesses experiencing growth jumped from 10% this time last year to 40% by the end of 2013.
Of further significance is the finding that this upward trend is being seen across all business sectors, but mainly driven by the construction and manufacturing industries, which have seen the biggest positive change.
The fourth-quarter stats also saw 38% of firms reporting increased sales, compared with 31% in the preceding three-month period. Similarly, the amount of businesses indicating they are either in wind-down mode, contraction or survival mode, almost halved, falling from 28% in the third quarter to 15% in the final three months.
While welcoming the headline figures, InterTrade Ireland’s director of strategy and policy Aidan Gough said it was too early to get carried away.
“There is a mood of growing optimism sweeping across businesses, but it is tinged with real concerns over rising costs, energy costs, in particular.”
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