Limerick saw significant growth in the number of new company start-ups in the first half of this year, which rose by more 23%. Cork and Galway also saw continued growth, and Dublin continued to dominate with more than 5,000 new companies starting up in the capital. The figures are published by business and credit risk analyst CRIF Vision Net.

Christine Cullen, Managing Director of CRIF Vision Net, said the reason Limerick saw such strong growth in start-ups was due to the fact that it was coming from a low base and also because it is becoming a hub for start-ups. "Limerick was an area that was decimated in the downturn and I think it is seeing some recovery. There has been some serious investment by Limerick Council which has encouraged jobs growth and really highlighted awareness of the area," Ms Cullen said.

Limerick's proximity to Shannon Airport, and a stream of talent from the University of Limerick and Limerick Institute of Technology, is helping the city recover very well, she said. There has also been some very good job announcements in Limerick, particularly in the medtech sector. "When you see those job announcements, you also see a knock on effect on local industry. So all of that feeds into a very positive environment in the region," she said.

Generally, the figures show that there has been a surge in the growth of professional and social services companies, which encompass business to business, and business to customer companies. There has been a lot of growth in the construction sector, hospitality sector, and wholesale and retail. 
The crisis in the housing and rental market is less of a concern for Irish companies starting up, than larger multinationals, Ms Cullen added.

CRIF Vision Net monitors companies that are starting up and companies that are failing. "Corporate failure is always something you have to take a look at on balance when you're looking at the growth of the sector. Insolvenices are down 30% year on year so that's very good news. That's almost across all sectors," Ms Cullen said. 

One sector which has seen a decline is the motor sector due to a difficult trading environment because of fluctuations in sterling which has led people to import cars rather buy at home. 

However, Ms Cullen said that generally conditions are excellent for setting up businesses in Ireland. "Everything is looking good, and very favourable, and it is a very good time to capitalise and grow," she said.

MORNING BRIEFS - Ryanair has reported a 20% fall in profits in the first quarter of the year to €319m. The airline puts the fall in profits down to lower fares, higher fuel costs and higher pilot costs. Traffic grew 7% to 37.6 million, despite over 2,500 flight cancellations caused by air traffic control staff shortages and strikes. 

*** The G20 group of finance ministers have said trade tensions could undermine the global economy.
They called for greater dialogue to reduce the risk after a tense, two-day meeting in Argentina. The summit comes as the US ramped up trade tensions, saying it was ready to put tariffs on all $500 billion dollars of imports from China.