HSBC Navigator provides comprehensive insight into the now, next and how for business, representing the views of over 9,100 business decision-makers across 35 markets. This report gives an understanding of how businesses like yours can continue to grow now and in the future.

Backed by a strong economy, businesses take a careful approach

Ireland’s economy was hit hard in the 2008 financial crisis but has recovered strongly to outperform the Eurozone with near full employment and strong income gains1. However, continued uncertainty over Brexit, specifically the prospect of a hard border with the UK, has diminished consumer sentiment and business confidence on exports2. Changes in international taxation policies could also affect Ireland’s strategy of attracting foreign direct investment through low corporation taxes3

State of play

Targeting new markets to increase confidence

Ireland’s businesses agree with the global consensus on growth, with just over three-quarters of companies anticipating increased sales next year. The focus is very much on opening up new markets and introducing new products and services, with Irish companies concentrating more on these areas than their counterparts in Europe and globally.

However, the Irish have a conservative business outlook, both for next year and longer term. Just over a third of Irish businesses are more optimistic than a year ago compared to nearly half of their global peers while almost a quarter are more pessimistic compared to one in seven elsewhere.

Expectations for future business growth

Expect sales to grow – Next year*
Expect sales to grow – Next five years*
Grow by 15% or more – Next year
Grow by 15% or more – Next five years
Grow by 6-14% – Next year
Grow by 6-14% – Next five years

Next year

Grow by 5% or less


Stay the same


Expect sales to shrink


Next five years

Grow by 5% or less


Stay the same


Expect sales to shrink


*This is the sum of grow by 5% or less, 6-14%, 15% or more. 

What you need to know

  1. 1

    77% of Irish businesses expect sales growth next year with almost one in five companies forecasting growth of 15% or more.

  2. 2

    38% of Irish companies are more optimistic than a year ago compared to 47% globally.

  3. 3

    Half of firms expect their businesses to change totally or substantially in the next five years, in line with the global average.

What your business can do

  •  Look at opportunities to enter new markets. 44% of Irish companies view this as a key strategy to drive future growth.

  • Streamline your supply chain by introducing digital technology and seeking new locations. More than a third of Irish companies are doing so in the expectation of reducing costs and increasing speed to market.