Budget 2025 priorities

Budget 2025 will look to address critical economic priorities, including housing, infrastructure, cost of living and climate action, amidst a backdrop of global economic uncertainty. This survey captures the sentiments and priorities of businesses regarding the potential fiscal policies.

Q2 2024 Eco Trends graph1
Q2 2024 Eco Trends graph2

A substantial majority (82%) believe that Cork must receive more investment in order to achieve targets outlined in Project Ireland 2040.

Business Confidence

Companies’ confidence in their own business remains high at 93%.

Not Confident
Confidence in the Irish Economy

Confidence in the Irish economy has declined to 72% in Q2, compared to 77% in Q1 and 85% in Q4 2023.

Respondents reported housing supply (33%) as the number one reason for a lack of confidence, followed by rising business costs (17%) and speed of infrastructure delivery (14%).

Employment Data

A significant portion of businesses report increased employee numbers in Q2 (36%), compared to 24% last quarter. Those experiencing a decrease in employee numbers has declined from 15% in Q1 to 10% in Q2. 54% reported that their employee numbers stayed the same over Q2.

Q2 2024 Economic Trends graph9

Out of the 47% of respondents that have vacancies advertised, 42% are finding it difficult to fill them. Specialist skills shortages (50%) is the top barrier, followed by wage demands (21%) and housing (18%). The cost of living and challenges in obtaining work permits were also noted.

Q2 2024 Economic Trends graph
% Turnover and Net Profit

The proportion of businesses reporting a decrease in turnover at the end of Q2 has increased to 20%, up from 16% in Q1. Meanwhile, those reporting an increase in turnover has risen from 42% last quarter to 51% in Q2.

Net profits have also risen this quarter, up from 27% in Q1 to 33%. There has been a decline in businesses reporting a decrease in net profits this quarter (20%) from 24% in Q1.

Top 3 threats to business growth
Skills availability
house icon housing urban
Availability of housing/rental accommodation for employees
Cost of energy and raw materials
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