BUSINESS GROUP IBEC has forecast a major slowdown in growth during 2019 as the Irish economy creeps towards full capacity.
The employers representatives said the economy is “at a mature phase of the business cycle” and warned that the outcome of the Brexit negotiations would “largely determine” how the country will perform over the next 12 months.
It added that there has already been a slowdown in lending due to uncertainty around Britain’s exit from the EU, and if a no-deal situation materialises, the resulting depreciation in sterling could erode the margin made by Irish firms supplying the UK market.
In contrast to Ibec’s warning, Institute of International and European Affairs chief economist Dan O’Brien said that while he is cautious about the next 12 months, there are a lot of positives to focus on.
Writing for the Sunday Independent, O’Brien argued that last year was the best year for the economy in almost two decades, with job opportunities expanding and employment surpassing pre-crash levels.
He added that there are some risks that could derail economic growth, but noted the Irish economy has a lot of momentum going into the new year to expand if risks such as a no-deal Brexit don’t materialise.
With that in mind, we’re asking Fora readers this week: Do you believe all the economic doom and gloom predicted for 2019?