The PwC 2015 SME Pulse Survey has been launched today. It is carried out amongst Ireland’s SME community defined as having less than 250 employees and is the second year of the survey.
The survey highlights that fewer SMEs when compared to last year expect overall costs to increase in the year ahead. The top economic and policy threat now is political change (68%). The next greatest concern is inadequate business infrastructure (66%).
Other concerns have eased substantially such as the Government’s response to debt burdens, increasing tax burdens, exchange rate volatility and over-regulation, while nearly two- thirds (63%) remain concerned about cyber threats.
Nine out of ten (91%) Irish SMEs are confident about the prospects for the Irish economy in the year ahead, up from 87% last year. Furthermore, one in eight (81%) are favourable about their own business. This reflected in the significant surge in capital investment being made, with over two-thirds (68%) now planning to invest in their business when compared to 51% last year.
John Dunne, Partner, PwC Private Business Services says, "The survey is good news for the Irish SME sector, many of whom are targeting the export market. While still high, many of the challenges of the past are now beginning to show signs of easing up such as access to finance, skills and the overall tax burden.
"However, as a small open economy heavily dependent on foreign markets, there is no time for complacency and private Irish businesses should continue to keep a close watch on all areas of operation and look to really exploit the benefits that digital technologies have to offer."