QUARTERLY STATS: Limerick leads the way in new company start-ups in 2018

Limerick saw significant growth in the number of new company start-ups established in the city and county, rising by +23.2% in the first half of 2018 compared to the same period last year. These new figures were published today by leading business and credit risk analyst CRIF Vision-net, part of the international fintech company CRIF.
This growth increase translated into 440 new start-ups in Limerick in the first half of 2018. 5,214 were founded in Dublin (growth of +3.2%), followed by Cork (1,168 start-ups, +3.5%) and Galway (466, +1.3%).

These statistics indicate that the economic recovery is taking solid root outside of the capital city. This bodes well for the Government’s 2040 National Development Plan which aims to provide balanced regional development, and prioritises growth in the major cities of Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford.
Construction and real estate grow, motor industry declines
In terms of new company start-ups by industry, professional services was the most prolific, growing by +8.6% year-on-year (2,228 to 2,419). 
The construction industry grew by +13.7%, from 1,118 new company start-ups in H1 2017 to 1,271 in the same period this year. Real estate also demonstrated strong growth (7.3%), growing from 491 new companies to 527.

The education sector had one of the most significant increases, growing by +28.9% for the first half of 2018, from 142 to 183 new companies.
There was, however, a drop in new motor industry start-ups (-4.9%), from 182 to 173, reflecting a difficult trading environment complicated in part by Brexit-induced sterling fluctuations.

Insolvencies drop -30%
Overall, there was a -30% 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 decrease in insolvencies of -50%, dropping from 36 to 18. Professional services (-38%) and hospitality (-35.4%) also saw significant decreases.
There were 18 fewer construction insolvencies (-20%) and 45 fewer real estate insolvencies (-50%), 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 (+16.7 percent), albeit from a low baseline (12 to 14).
On a county basis, Limerick saw a -48.3% reduction in insolvencies, again outperforming Dublin (-34.2%), Cork (-25%) and Galway (-42.4%).
The number of insolvencies in Waterford dropped to 4 for the first six months of 2018 compared to 14 in the same period last year. Wexford saw a drop from 21 to 10 and insolvencies in Clare fell from 18 to 8.
However, it wasn’t all good news for regional development as counties such as Carlow (from 5 to 9) and Westmeath (from 9 to 13) saw increases in insolvencies.

Insight
Christine Cullen, Managing Director of CRIF Vision-net, said: “The large increase in the number of start-ups in Limerick indicates 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.
“The construction and real estate sectors are benefiting from continued private and public investment. It is likely that they will create 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.

Discover more on CRIF Vision-net