Intertrade Ireland Business Monitor for Manufacturing, Q3 2017
IntertradeIreland have published their Business Monitor for Q3 2017, which paints a picture of a buoyant economy across the island of Ireland.
Some headlines to take from the report:
- 90% of manufacturing businesses close to or at full capacity
- 99% are stable or in growth
- Low rate of employment has not kept pace with growth figures
- 82% export within the EU
The latest quarterly (July-September 2017) InterTradeIreland Business Monitor paints the picture of a buoyant economy and sees 99% of the manufacturing sector stable or growing (52% stable, 47% in growth) with 90 per cent of those questioned close to or at full capacity.
Growth is not however translating into a similar upsurge in employment with only 4% of manufacturing firms reporting that employment levels have increases over the past quarter.
Almost a third of Businesses within manufacturing are already experiencing negative effects from Brexit. The exposure of the manufacturing industry to the impacts of Brexit is higher in comparison to other sectors questioned, particularly when 83 per cent note that they are dealing with less than 10% profit margin.
Cost of supplies while already an ongoing issue is a cause for concern for 34 per cent of manufacturers in relation to Brexit. The fact that only 6% have a plan to deal with Brexit remains a real issue particularly as 30 per cent of them say it is already having a negative effect on their business.
Aidan Gough, Strategy and Policy Director at InterTradeIreland said “A buoyant economy should not distract from the need to confront and prepare for challenges that lie ahead especially in terms of dealing with rising costs, skills shortages and potential changes to trading relationships”.
Three quarters of manufacturers have no experience of tariffs and non-tariff barriers such as rules of origin, quantity limits and freight forwarding, and when 66% of manufacturers believe it is important to have access to an all-island market it’s time to take action. InterTradeIreland would encourage firms to engage with their trade associations, local government bodies and other businesses to influence and receive advice in preparation for unfamiliar times ahead.
InterTradeIreland is currently running a series of major conferences ‘All facts: No Noise – Practical help to navigate Brexit’. The most recent event in Belfast was attended by nearly 400 delegates wanting to find out more about how to get prepared for Brexit. The next event is in Croke Park, Dublin on 5th December. InterTradeIreland’s Brexit Advisory Service offers bespoke help and assistance for SMEs, including a £/€2,000 Brexit Start Planning Voucher, which allows individual firms to work with an approved panel of experts to devise a tailored action plan.
“While we encourage businesses to concentrate on the day job and operational effectiveness we also are advising companies to use this time strategically to look at the possible impacts of Brexit. By asking relevant questions and working through different scenarios, businesses who have proved resilient in the past, will discover new solutions and opportunities in the challenges that lie ahead. An online Brexit planning tool which is available on our website will help SMEs begin the process to begin to PLAN, ACT and ENGAGE for the optimal Brexit outcome for their business.”
“With a healthy ambition to grow reported by 45 per cent of manufacturing firms across the island; we are encouraging SMEs to plan, act and engage in preparation for Brexit as this is the key to stability and success in the future,” Aidan added.