Financial Services Ireland


Economic Eye: Winter 2020

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The EY Economic Eye Forecast provides economic analysis of the all-island economy across the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. It is currently the only all-island forecast of its kind.

Created by EY Ireland Chief Economist Professor Neil Gibson and the team at EK-DKM Economic Consultancy, Economic Eye is based on the latest all-island forecasts and is a leading source of up-to-the-minute economic analysis.

Bouncing back or stepping forward? Economic Eye Winter 2020

2020 will be remembered as a year of profound disruption and change, one in which our way of living and working has totally transformed Hopefully, it will also be remembered as a time when we recognised our own fragilities and those of our planet, as well as the need for a proactive and dynamic government to help us through challenging times.

The importance of resilience and competitiveness as drivers of our economic future has become clearer. Covid-19 and Brexit are the twin challenges that dominate an assessment of the island economy in late 2020, but the outlook is about more than these two unpredictable forces. Beneath the headlines are pockets of remarkable transformation, ingenuity and prosperity.

Firms across the island are not looking to simply bounce back to where they were, they are striving to step forward into a reshaped world full of opportunity. Our forecasts have been revised upwards from our mid-year estimates for the Republic of Ireland (ROI) and are almost unchanged for Northern Ireland (NI). The complexities of the data mean that these revisions are far from the whole story.

Commenting on the report, EY’s Banking Sector Leader Cormac Murphy said:

It’s remarkable how resilient the Irish economy is – mainly due to the strength of Ireland as a centre of multinational investment. We are still seeing global financial services organisations choosing Ireland as their hub for EU activities, including organisations who decided to go elsewhere but changed their minds. In Banking we are delighted to continue to welcome a wide variety of new multinational financial institutions to Ireland as they establish post-Brexit business models. This is the ‘real economy’.

James Maher, Insurance Sector Leader, commented:

From our analysis we are increasingly confident of a national return to growth and employment in 2021, noting this will be tempered by how the impacts will fall differently for different sectors. Of significant interest for insurers will be the consequences for individual customers, including the affordability of pension contributions and the impact on small and medium enterprises in relation to their business insurances, with the hardest and perhaps more importantly longest-lasting impacts hitting the retail, hospitality and agricultural sectors.

Lisa Kealy, Wealth and Asset Management Sector Leader, added:

The report also highlights the business and societal convergence that has been caused by the pandemic, with many leaders reflecting on the role that business can and must play in wider society.  While there has been a recognition of this in the Wealth and Asset Management sector for some time, it has undoubtedly been accelerated by the wider Covid-19 societal impacts which have sparked initiatives such as the basis.point and Irish Funds Covid-19 Emergency Relief Fund. I look forward to the role that the funds industry and the wider financial services community will continue to play as we build back better.

Download the Winter 2020 Economic Eye report below, and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have a question.

Thought Leaders

Neil Gibson

EY Chief Economist

Cormac Murphy

International Banking & Capital Markets, Sector Leader

Lisa Kealy

Financial Services Markets Leader

James Maher

Insurance, Sector Leader