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Fragile recovery in business confidence

Wednesday, July 09 12:50:03

A new business survey today shows that the country is undergoing a recovery, albeit fragile.

The results of the ISME Quarterly Business Trends Survey for summer 2014, released today show increases in 8 of the 12 Key Business Indicators, a further 2 indicators remained steady while 2 showed decreases.

Employment indicators are at the highest since before the recession, however the Association cautioned the Government that economic recovery will be gradual and any meaningful growth will require cost curtailment, particularly in relation to state-influenced business costs and wage demands.

The survey was conducted in the last week of June, with 826 SME respondents. 54pc of the respondents employ less than 10, while a further 38pc employ between 11 and 50 and the remaining 8pc employ between 51 and 250.

According to Mark Fielding, ISME CEO, "SMEs are making progress at a slow pace and economic recovery is far from guaranteed at present. The recently released Exchequer figures certainly show improvements but, as a nation, we continue to borrow more than we generate on an annual basis. This is certainly a cause for caution and while CSO figures have been showing positive developments it is far too early for complacency."

"Owner-managers and consumers need some certainty with regard to their future costs so that they may plan their finances accordingly. There has been much speculation about the necessary budgetary adjustments for 2015 and the areas which might face cuts or increases. Government needs to step in to reassure businesses and consumers that no new taxes or charges will be announced in October. Uncertainty about the future is what stifles consumer spending and halts business expansion and employment plans."