2015 Q1 InterTradeIreland Quarterly Business Monitor
21st May 2015
56% of firms involved in cross-border sales are experiencing growth compared to 40% of those with no export sales, according to the latest InterTradeIreland quarterly Business Monitor (January – March 2015) released this week. The business survey reflects a positive but cautious start for businesses across the island with almost nine in 10 firms either growing or stable, with the number of companies expanding rising from 37% in the final quarter of last year to 43% in Q1 2015.
Aidan Gough, Strategy and Policy Director at InterTradeIreland said: “Results in this Business Monitor reinforce the generally positive pictures that have been apparent since the middle of 2013 with 88% of firms saying they are either stable or growing. Most sectors experienced stability rather than growth in the first quarter of 2015. Encouragingly though, after a particularly challenging quarter at the end of 2014, the construction sector bucked this trend and picked up significantly with 59% of firms in the industry expanding at the start of 2015.”
Results from the survey of 750 businesses across Ireland and Northern Ireland also highlighted the performance of those involved in cross-border trade and found that these businesses were significantly more likely to grow and twice as likely to be taking on staff over the next 12 months.
“This shows the importance of cross-border trade and export as a long-term strategy for business and overall economic growth,” said Aidan. “Sales performance of exporters continued to outstrip non-exporters and remained very strong. However, it appears in the short-term, that the current environment for those selling across the border has been more challenging. The volatility and fluctuation of the exchange rate may have a temporary effect on cross-border trade with current exchange rates becoming an increasingly significant issue for a small number of firms.”
Although, a third of firms are more cautious about investment than they were a year ago, more than two thirds of firms plan to invest in their businesses over the next year, particularly in the areas of IT and marketing with one in five companies planning to increase employment.
InterTradeIreland’s quarterly Business Monitor survey is the largest and most comprehensive business survey on the island and is based on the views of more than 750 business managers across Ireland and Northern Ireland. It differs from other surveys in that it is seen to be the ‘voice of local businesses’ feeding directly from telephone interviews conducted with a robust sample of firms of all sizes across a range of sectors to track all-island economic indicators such as sales, employment, business outlook and other specific topical research areas on a quarter by quarter basis.
For more information on InterTradeIreland and the business support programmes available, please visit www.intertradeireland.com