Optimism about the future of the Irish economy amongst the country’s top chief executives is dipping, according to the latest research by CB Richard Ellis.

Of the 1,000 CEO’s polled, 75% are less optimistic about Irish economic prospects in the short to medium term than they were 12 months ago, 52% said that they expected Ireland’s GDP growth to be between 0%-3% in 2008.

The remainder expected GDP growth of between 3%-6%.

No Irish chief executive expected higher growth,.


According to CBRE, the downturn in Irish sentiment stemmed principally from a mixture of rising interest rates, a loss of competitiveness and a slowdown in residential construction.

Guy Hollis, managing director of CBRE Ireland, said: ‘Not surprisingly, there was a notable decline in the number of Irish CEO’s identifying residential property as their preferred investment.


'Indeed, only 5% of respondents stated a preference for Irish residential property compared to 15% this time last year.’

‘However, the number of respondents identifying commercial property as their preferred investment option increased in this year’s survey.

'Another interesting trend which is not surprising considering what has transpired in the financial markets in recent months is that the number of respondents identifying bank deposits as their preferred investment option increased from 5% last year to 15% this year while the number of respondents who favoured equity investment declined since we conducted this survey last year.’