IBEC warns of dangers to continued economic growth, and calls for a Government to be formed

The employers group says that Ireland has avoided a shift to the Left

IBEC warns of dangers to continued economic growth, and calls for a Government to be formed

Julien Behal / PA

The employers lobby group IBEC expects Ireland’s economy to grow by 4.6% during 2016, and 3.9% next year.

It predicts that the labour market will continue to improve and that consumer spending will increase by 4.1% with wages growing by 2% while retail competition will keep inflation to a minimum.

However, it warns that the economy faces increased uncertainty and growing "headwinds." The main concern is the possibility of the UK leaving the EU. The group warns that if Britain goes the effect on Sterling values could make Irish exports up to 30% more expensive for British importers.

Danny McCoy, CEO of IBEC joined Newstalk Breakfast, he described the Brexit vote as "by far the biggest danger" that the Irish economy faces, and added that the potential impact of the UK leaving the EU is "unquantifiable."

Mr McCoy argues that it is "legitimate for Irish business to have a voice" in the debate while highlighting the high level of Irish directors in British firms.

Commenting on the General Election, he said that Ireland has avoided a "lurch to the left."

He called on Ireland's center-right parties to form a Government, saying, "The center is holding, they are pro-enterprise parties have a very dominant position and they should exercise that. We would be encouraging the parties to form a government fairly soon."

IBEC has also expressed concerns about wage inflation, a lack of housing supply and the possibility of an international economic slowdown hurting the Irish economy.