Cork Chambers President Paula Cogan. Photo: Darragh Kane

Chamber: Steadying of confidence

Business confidence has risen on Leeside, a new report has found.

In Cork Chamber’s latest Economic Trends Survey, it revealed that 84 per cent of respondents reported business confidence, which Cork Chamber said was an encouraging trend and upward trajectory from the 68 per cent in Q3 of 2020.

It also revealed 42 per cent anticipate an increase in turnover in the second quarter of 2021 while Covid-19 is seen as the top threat to business growth.

Cork Chamber President Paula Cogan, commenting on the results, said: “Q1 2021 has been an incredibly challenging time right across the board. At the outset of the pandemic in 2020, we talked of resilience, and the most recent quarter has certainly required a huge amount of resilience from businesses, communities, and individuals everywhere.

“It’s an encouraging testament to the Cork business community that, while there have been what seemed like insurmountable challenges at times, these were tackled and approached with the pragmatism and determination that shines through time and again from businesses here in Cork.”

She added: “We saw a very positive steadying of business confidence in this first quarter with 84 per cent of respondents reporting business confidence, consistent with the previous quarter Q4 2020 which noted 83 per cent of respondents indicating confidence, an upward trajectory from the 68 per cent in Q3 of 2020.”

She said the latest survey, which was supported by Ulster Bank, also reported that 43 per cent of respondents are expecting an increase to employee numbers over the 12 months ahead, with businesses clearly planning for the reopening.

“Government must support this planning with timely engagement that supports and facilitates these efforts, offering as much certainty and communicating on developments as early as possible to the business community,” she said.

Ms Cogan concluded: “The latest trends also report an encouraging stabilisation of confidence in the Irish economy with 52 per cent of respondents reporting confidence, a marked increase from the 29 per cent in Q3 2020.”