THE scale of Limerick’s economic revival was confirmed this week with a report showing a 23 per cent increase in the number of new company start-ups established in the city and county in 2018, making it the fastest growing area in the country during the first six months of the year.
Latest statistics from business and credit risk analyst CRIF Vision-net, showed there were 440 new start-ups in Limerick in the first half of 2018, compared with 5,214 in Dublin (3.2 per cent growth), followed by Cork with 1,168 (3.5 per cent growth) and Galway with 466 (1.3 per cent growth).
Limerick also had a 48.3 per cent reduction in insolvencies, again outperforming Dublin (34.2 per cent), Cork (25 per cent) and Galway (42.4 per cent).
CRIF Vision-net managing director Christine Cullen said that the big increase in the number of start-ups in Limerick indicated that the cities and counties outside of Dublin are increasingly benefiting from the economic recovery.
“This is a welcome development and an indicator that Ireland’s other regions can provide a counterweight to Dublin. The growth of start-ups outside of the capital needs to be encouraged. Targeted investments, such as the M20 Cork-Limerick motorway, should enable sustained regional development for the years ahead.
“Ireland’s continued economic growth is allowing more companies to thrive. Consumer spending is rising consistently, business opportunities are plentiful, and banks and other financial services companies are lending more to companies and start-ups,” she explained.
“The construction and real estate sectors are benefiting from continued private and public investment. It is likely that they will create an increasing number of start-ups in the near future as Ireland addresses its housing shortage and businesses expand their operations.
“Some industries, however, have fared less well. The motor industry has seen a surge in used imports which has impacted on new car sales. Combined with the impact of Brexit on sterling rates, this industry is facing significant challenges which may take some time to resolve,” Ms Cullen added.
The fact that the economic recovery is taking root outside Dublin bodes well for the Government’s 2040 National Development Plan which aims to provide balanced regional development and prioritises growth in Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford.
In terms of new company start-ups, professional services were the most prolific, growing by 8.6 per cent (2,228 to 2,419).
The construction industry grew by 13.7 per cent, from 1,118 new company start-ups in the first half of 2017 to 1,271 in the same period this year. Real estate also showed strong growth, with the number of start-ups increasing from 491 to 527.
The education sector had one of the most significant increases, growing by 28.9 per cent for the first half of 2018, from 142 to 183 new companies.
There was, however, a drop in new motor industry start-ups which were down by 4.9 per cent, from 182 to 173, reflecting a difficult trading environment complicated in part by Brexit-induced sterling fluctuations.
There was a 30 per cent drop in insolvencies across the country during the first six months of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017.
Social and personal services saw a 50 per cent decrease in insolvencies from 36 to 18. Professional services and hospitality insolvencies were down by 38 and 35.4 per cent respectively.
There were 18 fewer construction insolvencies and 45 fewer real estate insolvencies, reflecting the increasing opportunities for businesses in these industries.
In line with its decrease in new company start-ups, the motor industry was one of the few sectors to see an increase in insolvencies of 16.7 per cent, from a low baseline of 12 to 14.
by Tom McCullough
Read more business news here.