One of the country's largest accountancy firms, Mazars, has said the impact of the credit crunch is now beginning to spill over in a major way into the business sectors of the economy.

Mazars said the credit crunch is far more broadly based and deep rooted than most people think and that it is going to take three to five years for business to recover.

Mazars' Managing Partner Joe Carr warns there is now a pandemic of uncertainty and a major decline in confidence.

He said Irish companies who have never experienced a setback before are now reporting significant losses.

Mr Carr also said the speed with which the setback is occurring was surprising.