InterTradereland’s quarterly Business Monitor survey is the largest and most comprehensive business survey on the island covering business owner’s views both Northern Ireland and Ireland from interviews conducted with more than 750 SMEs. It differs from other surveys by feeding directly from telephone interviews conducted with a robust sample of businesses across a range of sectors. It has a lengthy time series of six years and tracks all-island economic indicators such as sales, employment, business outlook and other specific topical issues on a quarterly basis.
The latest quarterly (January – March 2017) InterTradeIreland Business Monitor Report issued today reveals evidence of an intensely competitive economic environment. Companies are taking advantage of buoyant levels of market confidence, however this is balanced with challenges caused by rising energy, overhead and supply costs, new competitors and difficulties recruiting appropriate skills.
As a result, while 82 per cent of businesses continue to hold their ground or to grow, there has been a 50 per cent increase over the year in the number of businesses that are struggling (12 per in Q1 2016 to 18 per cent in Q1 2017). Those facing the greatest competitive challenges are in the ‘retail, distribution & other services’ sector and the construction sector, where 27 per cent and 24 per cent of businesses respectively describe themselves as reducing, surviving at all costs or winding down.
82 per cent of firms across the island are reporting stability or growth
98 per cent of firms have not made plans to deal with Brexit
Half of businesses surveyed report that the cost of overheads is an important issue, followed by energy costs (38 per cent)
7 per cent of firms have increased employee numbers, with 4 per cent reporting a decrease
You can view the Q1 2017 Survey Graphic by following the link below: