Economic Outlook 2017

Written by Donal O'Donoghue | Blog | Irish Economy | Posted 25/01/2017 14:38:45

Sanderson hosted a 2017 Economic Outlook breakfast briefing with David Duffy, CEO of IBEC’s Property Industry Ireland. Donal O’Donoghue, MD of Sanderson congratulated David on his recent appointment as CEO of Property Industry Ireland following his twenty year career with the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).

In his presentation to the invited group of 30 business leaders, David noted the key theme in the 2017 economic outlook is uncertainty. Events in 2016 such as Brexit and the US election have created an uncertain environment which will have some impact on economic performance this year. Having said that, the expectation is that the Irish economy will continue to perform well with IBEC expecting that GDP will grow by 2.8% in 2017.

Importantly we are seeing that growth is spreading to the regions and the labour market is continuing to improve, with employment expected to grow by 2.4% in 2017. While uncertainty may dampen growth a key concern at present is competitiveness, particularly in the face of increasing pressure on pay.

One of the main issues facing the economy at present is the housing market. Increasingly we are hearing of concerns about the interaction between the housing market and our ability to attract FDI. The importance of the housing issue is reflected in the fact that we now have a Minister for Housing. Since taking office he has published an Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness which includes 84 action points aimed at improving how this sector operates and addressing such issues as homelessness, increasing supply, developing the rental sector and making better use of the existing housing stock. This is not an easy task as the housing market is a complex market with many different stakeholders. Any policy intervention needs to be mindful of this complexity. For example, the macro prudential measures are a necessary regulation but they have had consequences for other areas of the market, impacting negatively on the level of new house building and have put upward pressure on rental levels.

In order to encourage the supply of new homes we need to understand the micro-detail of what contributes to the cost of house provision and how these influence the decision to build or not. For example, the cost of land, the length of the planning process, the source and cost of finance are key factors. The forthcoming National Planning Framework will play an important role in the development of the regions. To date much of the recovery has been centred around the Dublin region. Re-balancing development to include the regions will play an important role in maintaining Ireland’s competitiveness by insuring that the regions are an attractive location for investment but also by ensuring that the Dublin economy does not become overburdened. Thinking about what kind of housing market we would like to have in 20 years time should inform the policy decisions made today and help us to prepare for any future risks.

For information on future Sanderson events please follow Sanderson on LinkedIn and Twitter or contact us directly.

- Donal O’Donoghue

About Sanderson

Sanderson Recruitment (Ireland) Limited is a Resource Solutions Group (RSG) company. RSG is the UK and Ireland largest independently owned recruitment group. We specialise in providing both permanent and contract business resources across a number of professional disciplines and market sectors. Sanderson has a rich heritage, with client and candidate relationships spanning many years. During that time we have established a large number of successful recruitment partnerships including Royal London Ireland, AIB, Sky Ireland, Permanent TSB and Evo Payments International. Our specialist recruitment areas are: Accounting & Finance, HR, IT & Business Change, Sales & Marketing and Supply Chain and Procurement.

About Property Industry Ireland

Property Industry Ireland (PII) was established in 2011 to have an independent and inclusive representative organisation for all sub-sectors of the Irish property industry. Membership of Property Industry Ireland (PII) is open to all professional firms across the property industry, and now totals almost 90 firms. Members include developers and contractors, engineers, architects and planners, surveyors and project managers, professional service firms, including legal and consultancy experts, auctioneers and property advisory firms, financiers, including stockbrokers and banks, building materials companies and businesses with a significant property portfolio. Since the start of 2015 PII is a sectoral association of IBEC.

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