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Brexit already having ‘rising negative effect on a third of all businesses’

More than a third of firms across the island of Ireland say Brexit is already having an adverse impact.

This is according to the latest all-Island business monitor from InterTrade Ireland.

With continued uncertainty around what the UK’s exit from the European Union will look like, 28pc of cross-Border traders have implemented steps to lessen any potential negative effect from Britain’s departure.

Security of supply chain, contracts and cash flow are the main areas where firms have taken action.

Aidan Gough, of InterTradeIreland, said the body was “obviously concerned with the rising negative impact of Brexit on business performance but reassured to see more cross-Border SMEs start to prepare”.

He encouraged businesses to avail of the supports including InterTradeIreland’s online learning resources and funding of up to €5,000.

Overall, business sentiment remains largely positive across the island, with 46pc of companies reporting growth, while a similar amount said they were stable.

Nonetheless, nearly three in 10 small businesses say they are breaking even at best.

Meanwhile, the outlook for construction has softened, with one in four firms experiencing a decrease in sales in the three months to September 30.

Elsewhere, new vacancies in the job market have stalled for the second consecutive quarter, according to the latest index from recruitment website IrishJobs.

Vacancies are down 8pc year-on-year, with the science, pharmaceuticals and food sectors showing the biggest decline, falling 24pc compared with the same period last year.

Jane Lorigan of IrishJobs.ie said the trend was illustrative of multiple factors “with Brexit being the most obvious”.

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