The final Cork Chamber Economic Trends Survey of 2017 reflects the business experiences of Cork Chamber members over the course of October, November and December. The survey gathered information on the financial performance and business experiences of Cork Chamber member organisations, recruitment experiences, and also member opinions on what a City needs to make it attractive for family living.
Cork Chamber CEO, Conor Healy noted, “It is particularly encouraging to see the continued high level of business confidence amongst the Cork business community reported at 95% over Q4 2017, and consistent with that surveyed throughout the past number of years. We are experiencing robust growth across Cork, with exciting new construction projects underway and in planning, and with strong year on year jobs announcements across the region. All in all, this is a very positive time for Cork.”
Mr. Healy added, “Alongside this we note an increase in overall confidence levels in the Irish economy compared to 3 months ago, now at 48%, an increase of 9% on the Q3 survey results. Again an encouraging response and a vast improvement on the 25% reported for the same quarter in 2016. There is no place for complacency and however encouraging, there are challenges. Business members reported Cost Competitiveness as the number one threat to business growth over the next 12 months, followed by the availability of housing and rental accommodation, skills, and Brexit. Cork Chamber is committed to continuing our work in addressing these concerns, to enhancing the Cork offering and resilience in the face of global economic uncertainties such as Brexit, and in responding to the housing, skills, and competitiveness challenges”.
Within the Q4 2017 Economic Trends survey as with its predecessors, Cork Chamber also asked about recruitment experiences. The Cork business community reports a number of skills for which there is a continuing and growing demand, these are namely Engineers across a range of disciplines, IT professionals and with the re-emergence of Quantity Surveyors and Construction Workers. In commenting, Mr. Healy added, “There is a national shortage for skilled trade’s people and Cork is no different. The growth across Cork is a positive story and has positive implications across a range of issues, economic and social in offering employment opportunities to those that moved abroad to return to a Cork that is growing.”
When asked about the priorities for growing a City environment for ‘family living’, the number one response by far related to diversity of housing, the quality, affordability, the need for new builds, and the need for refurbishment of vacant buildings. The second priority was for an enhanced Cork transport network and infrastructure, followed by the development of amenities. In concluding, Mr. Healy added, “Cork Chamber is committed to working with stakeholders to developing a City region that continues to grow sustainably, and to meet the needs of current and future business and residents. Housing availability, the development of a transport network and public transport offering, and the promotion of Cork to ensure a thriving and vibrant City region will continue as key priorities into 2018 and a resolute theme across the work of the Chamber.”
Respondents to this survey are reflective of a diverse range of responding businesses and are representative of a broad range of sectors, inclusive of Services (including Financial) at 43%; Industry and Manufacturing at 17%; Science and Technology at 8%; Tourism, Travel, Culture and Arts at 8%; Construction at 12%; Agriculture and Fishing at 2%; Transport at 5%; and Multi-sectoral at 5%.
- For further information please contact:Conor Healy, CEO, Cork Chamber, 087 9471858, Michelle O’Sullivan, Policy and Research Executive, Cork Chamber,firstname.lastname@example.org; 021 4530132/ 087 1404014
- To read the full publication: Cork Chamber Economic Bulletin http://www.corkchamber.ie/UserFiles/file/Eco%20B%201%202018.pdf
- Cork Chamber is the leading business organisation in Cork supporting and representing the interests of close to 1,200 businesses employing over 100,000 people in the region.