THE business outlook for the south west looks positive with tourism set to be strong in 2018, however Brexit and associated sterling weakness will challenge the agri-food sector.
That was the forecast delivered by leading economist Jim Power who addressed the annual Fitzgerald & Partners Accountants-sponsored Kinsale Business Christmas Lunch which was attended by the local business people and stakeholders from SMEs, start-ups and large employers in the area last week.
Lord Mayor of Cork Tony Fitzgerald was also at the event in the Blue Haven Hotel, as well as Sen Tim Lombard, Margaret Murphy O’Mahony TD and Minister Jim Daly.
The Lord Mayor congratulated Fitzgerald & Partners on their initiative promoting enterprise and business in the town with the publication of Doingbusinessinkinsale.com, recently launched by An Tanaiste Simon Coveney and which was developed in association with The Southern Star’s Star Creative.
Sponsored by AIB Bank Kinsale, Mr Power spoke of Brexit, the threats and opportunities in 2018 and the implications for Kinsale and surrounding areas in a very well received presentation.
‘The past year has been another good one for the Irish economy. The international background has been as good as we have seen in a decade, notwithstanding the uncertainty created by Brexit and Trump,’ said Mr Power.
‘The outlook for 2018 good. The global economy is getting steadily better; and domestic momentum is very solid as we turn towards the new year. The domestic agenda will be dominated by Brexit, the lack of housing supply and the quality and quantity of public services. Strong political leadership and prudent economic and financial management will be need to steer the economy through these uncertainties.’
He added: ‘Controlling all of the costs facing the business sector and credit availability for the SME sector are essential priorities. The outlook for the south west looks good, with tourism likely to have another good year and the SME sector to benefit from the ongoing improvement in consumer demand and generally stronger domestic demand. Brexit and associated sterling weakness will challenge the agri-food sector.’