An average of almost 71 new companies were formed every day in the first quarter of 2019, according to a new report by CRIF Vision-net.
In total, 6,413 new companies were formed in Ireland in the first quarter of 2019, the best Q1 figures in the past 13 years – up almost 14% on the previously record-breaking first quarter of 2018.
Professional services was the biggest contributor to new start-ups in Quarter One. The professional services industry saw 1,448 new start-ups in the first three months of the year, presenting a 22% increase on this time last year. Social and personal services grew by 50% (945 new companies). The third largest sector was financial services, however it decreased by one percent to 708 new start-up companies (compared to 715 in Q1 2018). Construction saw a modest one percent growth during this time.
In total, 12 counties recorded double-digit growth in start-ups in Quarter One. Dublin recorded the highest number of start-ups with 3,089 start-ups established in the capital in the first quarter of the new year, amounting to almost 50% of the total number of start-ups established.
Cork followed with 690 new companies in the first quarter – up 13.3% on Q1 2018, with Galway coming in third with 236 new start-ups established in Q1 2019 - down by just 1.2% on Q1 2018. Limerick saw 210 new start-ups created, representing a 7.7% increase on the same period last year.
This Quarter One growth in company start-ups wasn’t limited to the counties with the largest urban populations. Louth (up 21%), Donegal (up 16.5%), Kerry (up 7%), Wicklow (up 14%) and Wexford (up 38%) all saw significant increases in new company start-ups.
CRIF Vision-net say Brexit remains the greatest challenge of 2019 and sits at the very top of all business agendas amongst companies big and small. This concern is particularly acute for companies vulnerable to supply chain disruption, costly tariffs and border checks potentially on the horizon.
Commenting on the quarterly data, CRIF Regional Director for the UK and Ireland, Sara Costantini said, "We are very encouraged by the continued growth in Irish company start-ups in Quarter One. In fact, our international data indicates that we are on course to outperform some of Europe’s biggest economies, including Germany, in 2019."
She added, "While the domestic economy is thriving, external challenges continue to loom large and our data suggests this cloud of uncertainty is being felt across many other European economies. The next number of weeks will be crucial in shaping European market confidence in 2019 and beyond."