22/02/2011

Most Irish 'Businesses Having Problems'

InterTradeIreland has this week published the results of its quarterly all-island business monitor, the largest business survey on the island.

In its quarter four report for 2010, nine out of ten businesses reported that the economic downturn continues to have a moderate or severe adverse impact on their business, with those reporting a severe impact still rising.

In terms of profitability, almost one third of businesses reported that they had not been able to remain profitable in the past 12 months.

Export orientated companies are twice as likely to have increased sales (28%) as those focused on domestic markets (14%) and much less likely to have decreased employment.

Sectors that have been hardest hit continue to be construction, leisure, hotels and catering with almost one in four of firms in that sector reducing employment levels. Commenting on the findings, Aidan Gough, Director of Strategy and Policy in InterTradeIreland, said: "While the economic indicators point to some signs of recovery, the survey shows that this is not being felt by businesses on the ground.

"Firms that have already been faced with reduced demand and difficulty in accessing finance, are now being hit with inflationary cost pressures and this is the new battleground."

(BMcC)

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