Business leaders are worried about the economy...
A new survey of 275 senior Irish executives has found that Irish business executives are feeling cautious due to both Brexit and Donald Trump's election victory in the US.
For the first time since Amárach Research started tracking this indicator on behalf of MERC Partners in 2012, a minority (47%) believe that the prospects for the Irish economy are better now than they were a year ago.
Almost one-third (30%) believe that the prospects for the year ahead are negative, the research cites "Brexit and the election of President Trump" as the "overwhelming reasons" behind this shift in sentiment.
85% of business leaders now believe that a 'Hard Brexit' is inevitable and 73% believe that Ireland needs a Brexit Minister.
Meanwhile, 60% believe it would be a bad idea to extend an invitation to Donald Trump to visit Ireland.
It's not all doom and gloom, however, almost half of respondents’ organisations (49%) now employ more people than they did 12 months ago.
Over half (54%) anticipate they will take on more staff by the end of 2017, with 10% saying they will employ significantly more people.
Respondents identified Ireland's housing shortage, a lack of skilled labours in some sectors, and high levels of personal income tax as other factors threatening Ireland's economic recovery.
Ruth Curran, Managing Partner, MERC Partners, said: "As a country, Ireland has made significant progress since we began this research programme in 2012. The outlook is positive but Brexit and the policies of the Trump administration have raised concerns for the future economic landscape.
Our study clearly demonstrates that senior Irish executives, whilst acknowledging the work done by Government to date, want it to have the courage to continue to adopt a definitive approach to leading the country.”