A new survey shows that business confidence has been severely impacted by the political and economic uncertainty surrounding Brexit.
The latest quarterly survey from the Institute of Directors in Ireland shows that the uncertainty evident over the past 12 months has intensified.
It also reveals that 89% of respondents think the Government should deliver a conservative Budget in October in expectation of a no-deal Brexit.
The Institute of Directors in Ireland's survey found that business leaders' optimism in the economy is down 31% year-on-year.
When asked how they felt about the Irish economy in the second quarter of this year compared to the same time last year, just 15% said they were "more optimistic".
This reading had stood at 32% in the first quarter of this year.
92% of business leaders also said they believe that Brexit's impact on the Irish economy will be negative in the short-term, up from 89% in the first quarter. 58% believe it will be negative in the long term.
There has also been a sharp decrease in business leaders anticipating opportunities for growth in the UK market, down to 20% in the second quarter from 30% in the first three months of the year.
67% of business leaders also said they were "sufficiently prepared" for Brexit, a drop of 4% on the first quarter in 2019.
Maura Quinn, CEO of IoD Ireland, said that business confidence among Irish business leaders is plummeting.
"The message is clear - Irish business leaders are worried, and they want the Irish Government to take note and deliver accordingly in next month's Budget, which is just weeks before the current Brexit deadline," Ms Quinn added.
Today's survey was completed by 291 directors and business leaders who are members of the IoD in Ireland.
63% of the respondents are current board members, of which 42% are chief executives or managing directors with most of the rest in senior executive roles.
The research was carried out in the first week of July.