Business confidence continues to fall
Business confidence among Irish companies continued to weaken in the third quarter of the year, according to the latest Business Sentiment Report by business representative group Ibec.
The overall business confidence index stood at -19 in the third quarter of the year, slightly lower than the figure of -18 recorded in quarter two. Expectations surrounding exports also weakened, with the exports expectation index dropping to +12 from +20 in the previous quarter, down from +31 recorded in the third quarter of 2011. While a number of sectors, including food and drink, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and IT, continue to expect robust export sales, the outlook in industries more sensitive to global business cycles has deteriorated sharply. In terms of domestic sales, the outlook remains muted.
However, the hotel sector recorded positive trends, with firms in the hospitality sector recording a positive reading for the third consecutive quarter, reflecting the improved trend in hotel room occupancy rates. The report is based on a survey of manufacturing and services firms.