Top AIB economist says ‘there is no Brexit meltdown’

AIB economist brexit
Oliver Mangan AIB

But AIB’s chief economist Oliver Mangan told the TLICN and IIBN the future remains uncertain

Allied Irish Bank’s chief Economist Oliver Mangan was the keynote speaker at the recent joint networking event hosted by The London Irish Construction Network (TLICN) and Irish International Business Network (IIBN), writes Anne Geaghan. Mr Mangan described AIB’s core business segments as Hotel, Leisure, Health and Manufacturing, said the bank had recently put its focus in this country on owner managed businesses (OMBs).

As such it had been keenly monitoring the impact on these sectors since the Brexit vote on 23 June. He said that contrary to many initial fears there had been no economic meltdown in this country but, in fact, because of lower unemployment figures and wage growth there was even evidence of new confidence.

But, because of the slow global recovery, the overall economic forecast remained one of uncertainty, he said.

AIB economist brexit
Sean Daly (TLICN), Mary Daly (AIB), Frank O’Hare (TLICN) and Oliver Mangan AIB Mary McKenna (IIBN)

The full effect of Brexit had yet to come, he stressed, and will not be before Article 50 is triggered some time in 2017 and not until after Germany’s General election. He said the ensuing negotiations will be difficult as Britain will not have a veto over the Single Market or migration and real trade talks will really only start after Britain has formally left the EU, further increasing the uncertainty.

Mr Mangan said EU Heads of government will not want to create the precedent of an easy Brexit that might tempt other countries to follow. Mr Mangan, who is based at AIB head office in Ireland, said Ireland’s agricultural sector, and its tourism, energy, retailing and financial industries are most likely to bear the brunt of Brexit, given Ireland’s close ties to the UK economy.

But, he said, “on the upside” many of the UK’s financial services companies could now be attracted to Ireland. The evening also included a talk by Orient Express operator Belmond’s Gary Franklin who described Ireland’s new luxury rail service, the Grand Hibernian, launched last month.

Guests also heard from Maureen O’Regan, of Jury O’Shea Solicitors, who stressed the importance of always engaging a solicitor when making important decisions like making a will, and buying or selling property.

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