KBC Bank Ireland and Chartered Accountants Ireland today launched a new index measuring Irish economic sentiment and performance.
The KBC/Chartered Accountants Ireland Business Sentiment Index tracks results from a quarterly survey of business sentiment over seven years to examine the strength of business conditions, the degree of confidence among Irish business leaders and the extent to which these vary across sectors and individual companies.
“We are delighted to release this new business sentiment indicator. In a rapidly changing Irish economy, we need a range of perspectives on business conditions to complement official data. By examining both the hard numbers in relation to activity levels and the important influence of instinct and emotion, we capture a sense of the factors motivating decision-making,” Pat Costello, chief executive, Chartered Accountants Ireland said.
“There is a strong sense in the survey that the Irish economy is still at a fairly early stage of its recovery path but many companies feel that they are at a more advanced point. They express concerns about quite a wide range of matters, suggesting attention needs to turn to a range of structural issues that may determine how strong the upswing may be,” he added.
According to chief economist at KBC Ireland, Austin Hughes, said the business sentiment index suggests a recovery in Irish companies. “It is particularly encouraging that domestic focused companies are reporting improving demand of late. The pick-up in activity is mirrored in job gains while costs remain subdued.”
He says there has been a marked strengthening in business confidence of late as fears about Ireland’s economic future ease. “While companies are more confident in their thinking, they are still cautious in their actions. Output and hiring are rising solidly rather than spectacularly. It’s very good news that a recovery is underway but the survey suggests there is much to be done to ensure the upswing is strong and sustained.”