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SME Market Monitor points to possible impact of international factors on the SME environment

27th February 2017

The latest DKM/BPFI SME Market Monitor, February 2017, prepared by DKM Economic Consultants (DKM) and published today by Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI), points to a concern about the impact which international factors may be having on the SME environment.

Tracking trends across 15 different indicators which are important for the performance of the SME sector, the latest DKM/BPFI SME Market Monitor describes the apparent emerging concern about the effect of such factors as Brexit and the new US administration on the Irish economy. However, in her commentary accompanying the report, DKM’s Annette Hughes also notes the positive trends evident in employment, earnings and the construction sector:

“From the analysis to date, there appears to be an emerging concern about the impact of international factors, notably Brexit and the new US President, on the Irish economy. That concern is evident from recent trends in consumer confidence, notwithstanding a jump in January, the moderation in the volume growth in retail sales, increases in input prices in the manufacturing, food and construction sectors, a decline in the number of tourists visiting from Britain and an increase in the savings ratio. Meanwhile the economy registered further increases in employment and earnings and the construction sector expanded in Q3 2016 at its fastest rate in twelve years.”

Outlining the many positive trends present across many indicators, the report highlights the marked improvement in consumer confidence in January and points to the record level of Total disposable income which reached €25.7 billion, surpassing the previous peak set in Q3 2008. It also notes that Consumer expenditure increased in the quarter, having recorded a yearly and quarterly expansion of 2.9% and 1.1% respectively. However Hughes concludes by sounding a note of caution that businesses should ensure they are well prepared in the months ahead as the full effects of external factors continue to materialise:

“Overall, it is clear that in this latest assessment of the SME environment, several indicators have been impacted negatively by the result of the Brexit referendum and the new US president, although the full effects of both have yet to emerge fully. This implies there is no room for complacency and the Irish Government and SMEs need to monitor developments closely to ensure they are well prepared for any eventuality.”

The DKM/BPFI SME Market Monitor can be viewed on the BPFI website here and www.dkm.ie 

Note: Banking & Payments Federation Ireland is the voice of banking and payments in Ireland, representing over 70 member institutions and associates, including licensed domestic and foreign banks and institutions operating in the financial marketplace here.

Contact:   Annette Hughes, Director DKM Economic Consultants, Ph: 01 6670372
Jillian Heffernan, Head of Communications, BPFI, Ph: 01 4748835 / 087 9016880

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