Irish businesses are confident about their own future prospects, but perceptions about the economy as a whole are not as strong, according to the latest Dublin Chamber quarterly study.
The survey found that 42pc of companies expect their levels of business to remain stable, while 46pc expect them to increase over the next three months.
“Half of businesses are expecting their level of activity to grow next quarter,” said Patrick Coveney, Dublin Chamber president and Greencore CEO. “Yet their confidence dissipates when it comes to the economy more broadly – with less than one in five of businesses more confident about the economy today than they were three months ago. We have become more confident in our own businesses, but not yet more confident in our wider economy. Why is this?”
Coveney, who was speaking ahead of his address to 1,800 business people at Dublin Chamber’s annual dinner in the Convention Centre this evening, said the aggregate recovery is not lifting all boats.
“We do not have a homogenous economy. The food, pharma, and technology exporting industries are charging ahead at double digit growth levels. But for domestic businesses – in retail, in construction, in local services, in banking, in many parts of the public sector – revenues and personal incomes are nowhere near flat; they have gone back. Business will lead where we can and follow government where necessary.”
According to Coveney, one way that businesses can lead is through a new Chamber initiative, Activating Dublin, which will see the business group working in partnership with Dublin City Council to develop a shared vision and action plan for the capital.
“The quality of the city’s infrastructure has improved enormously, with additional rail facilities, road access, the Convention Centre, the IFSC, numerous high quality sporting and cultural venues, an upgraded port, and an airport now future-proofed for 30 years,” he said. “Our challenge now has moved from infrastructure provision to infrastructure activation and getting the most value from these investments to the benefit of domestic businesses. Dublin must be a good place to work, but critically in an open global economy also a great place to live and visit. We need more people to want to stay, spend, create, celebrate, do business, and advocate for Dublin.”