Almost 90% of businesses now trading in some form, CSO survey finds

But three-quarters have seen big drop in turnover, research indicates

Nine out of 10 businesses are engaged in some form of trading, CSO data suggests. Photograph: Tom Honan for The Irish Times.

Almost 90 per cent of businesses were trading in some shape or form at the end of May, according to a survey by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

This was up from 76 per cent prior to the Government’s easing of Covid-19 restrictions on May 18th.

However, the CSO cautioned that “trading” is a loose term and many businesses were only open on a partial basis because the restrictions still in place.

The agency’s latest online survey of 3,000 firms shows that 89.4 per cent of responding enterprises were trading in some capacity as of May 31st.

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It also showed that 9.6 per cent had temporarily ceased trading while 1 per cent had ceased trading permanently.

More than a quarter (26.3 per cent) said they had restarted trading in May. In the construction sector, 58.1 per cent of enterprises restarted trading.

More than seven in ten responding enterprises (71.5 per cent) had seen a reduction in turnover of 10 per cent or more during the four-week period to May 31st, compared to normal expectations.

But 30.9 per cent indicated that their turnover had increased following the easing of restrictions on May 18th.

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times