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Brexit stalls investment decisions at one third of larger firms

Uncertainty: Aidan Gough
Uncertainty: Aidan Gough
Ryan McAleer

By Ryan McAleer

Brexit has negatively hit investment decisions in almost one third of larger businesses, new research out today from InterTrade Ireland has shown.

The latest economic monitor by the cross-border body showed a continuing pattern of firms on both sides of the border deferring decisions and stalling investments against the backdrop of Brexit.

The quarterly monitor sources views from more than 750 business managers across Northern Ireland and the Republic. It suggested a 'wait and see' attitude between January and March, with 31% of firms with 50-plus employees stating that Brexit is having a negative impact on investment decisions.

Just 4% said they were considering upgrading or changing premises during the first quarter, while the number of firms planning to extend staff training dropped from 17% to 11% from the same period last year.

Only 6% of companies said they are planning to spend on research and development over the next 12 months.

Aidan Gough, InterTradeIreland's strategy and policy director, said: "While the wider economy on the island remains resilient, there are further signs of difficulties generated by the uncertainty around Brexit. Businesses are cautious, and this could potentially impact on growth prospects.

"The drop in the number of cross-border traders reporting sales increases is also a concern. Our research points to the significantly increased productivity of cross-border traders over firms that do not export; bringing into sharp focus the value of encouraging growth in cross-border trade."

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