IBEC, the business lobby group, reports today in
its Business Sentiment Survey for Q3 2013, a sharp rise in confidence.
Additionally, firms' expectations for the next three months have grown faster
than current business confidence, both in their own firms and the economy as a
whole, signalling improving prospects driven by expectations of increased sales,
a growing customer base and higher profitability.
The research predated Budget 2014, and IBEC says feedback from business suggests
that the recent budget will have a positive rather than negative impact on
Fergal O'Brien, head of policy and chief economist, commented: "Economic
indicators are positive as we prepare to exit the Troika bailout programme. In
addition to improved business confidence several other indicators are
encouraging for growth in the third quarter. Firms expectations were positive
across all measures, bar unit selling price. Domestic sales expectations over
the next three months are in their third consecutive quarter of positive
territory and expectations for export sales recovered to +37 after a marginal
decrease to +31 in the previous quarter."
"This is the strongest set of sentiment data we have seen since we started the
survey in 2009. It shows that business conditions are steadily improving and
points towards solid economic growth over the coming quarters. Recent indicators
have also pointed to an improvement in the mood of consumers. It's good to have
the budget over with earlier in the year and we should enter 2014 in a
significantly stronger position than recent years. The weak performance of the
wider European economy, however, remains a concern."
The sample is said to comprise about 400
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