Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, published its Q4 Quarterly Economic Outlook today (12 December). The report revised down Ibec’s 2016 GDP growth forecast to 3.7% from 3.9%, and the 2017 forecast to 2.8% from 3.2%.
The group said increased global and European economic and political uncertainties increased the need for sensible economic and labour market policies at home. Brexit in particular was identified as a source of ‘massive worry’.
Ibec Senior Economist Gerard Brady said: “To date, Ireland’s impressive growth has been spurred on by relatively strong US and UK performances, a benign global backdrop, low interest rates, falling oil prices and favourable exchange rates. But the world is becoming more unstable, politically and economically. We can no longer rely on these external factors.
“Making the right economic choices at home will play an increasing and pivotal role in how the economy performs in the coming months and years. Decisions that would add to business costs or reduce the ability of Irish companies to compete internationally must be avoided. Instead we need to make Ireland an even more attractive place in which to invest and do business", Brady continued.
Despite the report’s downward adjustment, jobs growth is set to continue, with employment levels expected to return to 2006 peek levels by the end of next year, with employment growth approaching 2.4% for the full year in 2017.
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