34% of businesses will not increase pay this year.
62% of Owner-managers will not increase pay this year.
31% of businesses claimed inadequate broadband.
51% of companies find it difficult to hire new staff.
The results of the ISME Quarterly Business Trends Survey for Q3 2017, released today (17th November) show a welcome improvement in confidence. 9 of 12 confidence indicators; Business Confidence, Business Expectations, Business Environment, Profitability Expectations Current Employment, Future Employment, Current Sales, Current Investment and Export Expectations showed improvements. The Trends report also reports on pay, staff retention and broadband in the SME sector. Commenting on the results, ISME CEO, Neil McDonnell said “Today’s results are positive for SMEs. We welcome the improvements in 9 out of 12 confidence indicators. However, we mustn’t ignore the challenges many SMEs are still facing.”
“Our results show Brexit, economic uncertainty, cost competiveness and reduced orders are major issues for many of our members. We need Government policy, and State supports and services to address these.”
“31% of business say they experience inadequate broadband service. This is a basic issue, but has far reaching consequences for small businesses in terms of growth, productivity, and cash flow. Reliable access to broadband is essential for business to function properly; unreliable or inadequate service hinders growth within business, and this must be addressed”
The survey was conducted in the second week of November, with 556 SME respondents, 47% of whom employ less than 10; 45% employ between 11 and 49; and the remaining 8% employ between 50 and 250. Geographically, 31% are from Dublin; 54% are spread across the rest of the country; and 13% have multiple sites.
There was an improvement in our trends confidence index for Q3’17, with 9 (out of 12) indicators showing improvements, compared with 7 negatives in Q2’17. There was an increase in Business Confidence (up from 17% Q2’17 to 22% Q3’17), Business Expectations (up from 22% to 25% in Q3’17), Business Environment (up from 39% to 47% in Q3’17).
Profitability Expectations are marginally (up 3% from 19% in Q2’17 to 22%), Current Employment and Future Employment are (up 33% and 22%) respectively, Current Sales are up from (21% to 31%), while Sales Expectations are down from (37% to 29%), Current Investment is up from (37% to 43%), while Future Investments are down from (34% to 29%).
Current Exports are down from 17% to 14%, while Export Expectations are up from 6% to 40%.