The food industry is optimistic about the outlook for Ireland’s economy, with 91% of respondents expecting their turnover to grow over the next 12 months.
This is according to the BWG Group, one of Ireland’s leading food wholesalers and retailers, which has released the results of a new leadership survey of Ireland’s major food manufacturers and distributors.
The survey also includes an assessment of the performance of the Government across a number of key areas.
In relation to the Irish grocery sector, 98% of respondents felt that the market would perform the same or better over the next 12 months.
Over two-thirds of respondents believed that they will employ more people in 2022, with a further 55% expecting to employ more by 2024.
While only 42% of people expect to hire new staff in 2020, just 2% of respondents feel they will employ less staff next year.
Brexit is the number one concern for businesses in the immediate future, but down the road respondents highlighted calling out rising business costs, price discounting, insurance costs, and labour shortages as some of the major concerns.
“Suppliers have called out increased business costs as their biggest challenge and this mirrors the experience of food wholesalers like BWG and our many independent retailers,” Chief Executive of BWG Group, Leo Crawford, said.
“We have to avoid a repeat of the past where we eroded our competitiveness through unsustainable increases in the costs of doing business including wages, local taxes and regulation.”
Potential Speed Bumps
Crawford added that, according to their suppliers’ assessments, the Government is “failing to address the fundamental needs of Irish citizens in terms of housing, health and education”.
“If not addressed, the concern is that these issues will undermine the positive momentum that is driving current economic growth and job creation,” he added.
More than half of survey respondents ranked the Government’s performance on housing and health as poor or very poor, while only 15% believe that it has performed well in relation to education and childcare.
Respondents do believe, however, that the Government’s management of Brexit and job creation were ranked as ‘very good’, with its stewardship of the economy rated as ‘good’.
It is also seen to be doing ‘ok’ in transport.
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click sign-up to subscribe to Checkout.