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SME Confidence Tracker

Quarter 4, 2019
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Report reveals confidence levels among Irish SMEs

The SME Confidence Tracker surveys 200 of Ireland’s small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) on a quarterly basis. The tracker charts the confidence of owners and senior decision-makers of businesses in manufacturing, construction, wholesale, transport and services sectors.

The SME Confidence Index is compiled by equally weighting SME sales performance over the past three months with anticipated sales performance for the three months ahead.

Discover some of the key insights and analysis by our experts which will help you to understand the current business climate in Ireland.

Download the report

Key statistics

  • The SME Confidence Index is 63 points, a slight decrease from 67 points in Q1, 2019
  • Almost two-thirds of SMEs feel Brexit will have a negative impact on their business
  • A third of SMEs have not prepared for Brexit
  • 42% of surveyed businesses reported an increase in sales in Q3
  • 78% planned to invest in their businesses in Q4 with many aiming to reduce operating costs and increase efficiency
  • Over one-third of SMEs experienced bad debts in the past 12 months
Mark O'Rourke

Brexit fog is dampening enthusiasm among Irish SMEs

“At the beginning of 2019, I discussed how Irish SMEs were taking heart in the strong performance of Irish economy as a whole, despite the ongoing challenges presented by Brexit,” says Mark O’Rourke, BFS Ireland’s Manging Director.

“However, since then there have been a number of warning signs that this encouraging environment may have peaked, dampening optimism within the sector.”

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Irish SMEs look to expand their horizons

“Brexit will undoubtedly have a profound effect on the trading environment for many Irish SMEs,” says Stephen McCarthy, BFS Ireland’s Head of Sales in Munster.

“But with 9% of SMEs saying they have invested in their capacity for trading overseas in Q3, it is clear that no matter how it is resolved Irish SMEs are increasingly recognising the need to expand their horizons to drive growth.”

Read more
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Download the SME Confidence Tracker for unrivalled business insights

Our report reveals what Irish SMEs are prioritising when it comes to investing in their businesses and longer-term planning.

Find out what the impact of current economic uncertainty is on investment decisions as well as the key business challenges on the immediate horizon.

Download the report
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