The Minister for Finance has said that, given the openness of the Irish economy, it is inevitable that we will be impacted by the slowdown arising from the coronavirus outbreak.

Addressing an event at Chartered Accountants Ireland last night, Paschal Donohoe said it was too early to quantify the impact but that the Department of Finance would provide a clearer picture in the Stability Programme update in April.

He said the actual cost, in terms of lost global GDP, would depend on the duration of the outbreak. 

The OECD has already said the outbreak has the potential to slow global growth to its lowest rate since the financial crisis just over a decade ago.

Meanwhile, the Managing Partner of PwC Ireland has said a slowdown in Asia from the Covid-19 outbreak would likely be felt more here in the coming months.

Feargal O'Rourke said the spread of the virus and measures to contain it could result in decision making being deferred by businesses.

He was outlining the findings of the latest survey of business chiefs carried out by PWC.

The study, which was conducted before the virus outbreak, shows that confidence in the overall economy among CEOs at its lowest level since 2009.

However, it also indicated more resilience among companies to deal with problems.

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Mr O'Rourke said that Brexit and the challenge of finding good skilled employees, as well as cyber security threats, climate change, data privacy and increased regulation were all sources of concern for companies in the longer term.

He also said a new government needed to be formed in the next four weeks to dispel concerns in international markets about the continued lack of agreement about coalition formation.

Mr O'Rourke told Morning Ireland that businesses 'want predictability and stability' and don't like the uncertainty that arises from the current impasse in government formation talks.

He said that US companies had contacted him after the election to question what the rise of Sinn Féin meant, but are now asking him what the delay is in forming a government.

He said that if no government is formed over the next four weeks there will be "genuine questions" asked internationally about what is happening in Ireland. 

"Businesses want stability and a roadmap so they can plan ahead," he concluded.