Image: Ibec CEO Danny McCoy

The growing cost of doing business, housing challenges and concerns about talent availability are beginning to impact the wider business environment outlook, according to a new report by lobby group Ibec.

Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, said overall business sentiment remains high despite ongoing geopolitical and economic uncertainty.

The findings are contained within Ibec’s annual CEO Survey, capturing the perspectives and predictions of CEOs on the major business issues.

The report found talent is still a concern for 51 per cent of organisations, despite slower growth expectations. The availability of housing was described as a challenge for 70 per cent of respondents.

Planning system concerns were identified by half of CEOs, while supply chain disruption remains a challenge for two-thirds of manufacturing firms. Energy security concerns remain a significant factor for 2023.

On the bright side, businesses are adapting well to new ways of working, with remote working only a concern for 8 per cent.

Ibec chief executive Danny McCoy said: “Despite the early economic challenges of 2023, the Irish economy continues to remain remarkably resilient.

“However, the majority of firms expect that the next six months will see weaker margins, driven largely by concerns on input cost inflation, rising labour costs, volatile energy markets and housing availability to name but a few factors.

“We need to see an ambitious suite of measures delivered by Government to address the challenges emerging or risk undermining future economic development.”

Mr McCoy added it was “imperative” that we now see energy support schemes made more effective, while Government must “urgently reinvigorate” the policy drive around the availability and affordability of housing.

“Ireland must offer people good living and working conditions to sustain economic success and remain attractive to local and global mobile talent pools,” he said.