Q4 2022 All-Island Business Monitor

Latest All-island Business Monitor results more optimistic than expected

Press Release

  • 90 percent of businesses in Northern Ireland say they are stable or growing.
  • 32 percent are experiencing strong growth and 37 percent are expecting to grow in the next 6 months.
  • 75 percent of firms in Northern Ireland have passed on rising cost price increases to customers.
  • Growth and stability rates in Northern Ireland and Ireland are similar in Q4 2022.

Business Position

Firms across the island are reporting a better than expected close to 2022. InterTradeIreland’s latest All-island Business Monitor (Q4 2022) reveals that despite high inflation, firms finished the year on a more positive note than expected.

Martin Robinson, InterTradeIreland’s Director of Strategy says,

“This is the largest survey of its type and last quarter we saw a positive increase across the key indicators. However, I would not be rolling out the red carpet to welcome economic recovery just yet.  We must bear in mind that it is against a complicated economic and geopolitical backdrop. We need to see the results for the next quarter or two to get a better sense of whether this may be the start of a sustained uplift.“


Nine out of ten businesses surveyed say they are in stable or growth mode and this picture is remarkably similar in both Ireland (91 percent) and Northern Ireland (90 percent). Businesses in both jurisdictions with export sales are experiencing the highest rate of expansion, with half enjoying growth. Cross-border traders continue to have higher profit margins than their non-exporting peers. A third of businesses that trade cross-border on the island says gains fall in the higher profit brackets of 10 percent and over, compared to just over a quarter of non-exporters.

Martin Robinson comments,

“Across all sectors, there’s a real sense of businesses just putting their head down and getting on with it. Manufacturing is more upbeat after the recent price shocks - there could be a sense that most of the bad news is already priced in. We would expect the hospitality sector to have a seasonal boost in the last quarter of the year although fewer businesses in this sector are in growth mode relative to other sectors.”

Business Issues

Not surprisingly high input costs of both energy (85 percent) and other overheads (80 percent) remain the dominant issues for business in Northern Ireland, with 75 percent reporting they have now passed on price increases to customers. Difficulty accessing skills remains an issue for one in three, while 82 percent of firms say they have largely adapted or remain unaffected by trading conditions post-Brexit.

Martin concludes,

“We see the persistent challenges that businesses contend with, and in InterTradeIreland we are very focused on working with firms to help them find solutions. We know that trading across the border can be a significant step for SMEs to help them grow their business. The latest figures from the Irish Central Statistics Office show that businesses in Northern Ireland enjoyed almost £5 billion in goods sales to Ireland during 2022. I would encourage any firm that needs advice on how to take that first step to sell cross-border to contact InterTradeIreland.”

“We also collaborate with a wide-range of partners across the island and have access to a wealth of knowledge and experience that small firms can tap into via our networks.”

This infographic illustrates the findings from the All-Island Business Monitor conducted in Q4 2022.

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