Business confidence fell sharply in the middle of the year as companies battled the economic slowdown and rising prices.
He also observed in the latest Accenture/S&P Global report that businesses in the survey predicted a decline in profits for the first time on record. Companies are ready to cut employment and investment plans as demand slows.
The net balance for business activity in Ireland fell sharply between February and June, falling from 55 per cent to 24 per cent.
The downgrading of expectations was the second strongest globally after only Germany. The downward revision in growth forecasts was particularly evident in the manufacturing sector where business confidence was at its lowest since the global financial crisis.
Business Outlook is based on a survey of approximately 12,000 manufacturers and service providers worldwide, including 600 in Ireland.
Inflationary pressure proved to be the area of most concern for companies, with some fearing a recession. Security materials and staff were also described as major threats to the development.
However, in Ireland, the employment net balance stood at 24 per cent, one of the highest sentiment recorded in Europe. This was despite plans to lay off new employees in a previous report published in February.
The outlook comes as LinkedIn data showed that hiring for the first five months of the year was 27pc higher in 2019 than in the same period pre-pandemic.
The firms also said that they were responding to increased production prices by increasing costs for customers.
“As we emerge from a turbulent two years, it is surprising to see the effects of global events reflecting in a more volatile business environment,” said Alastair Blair, Accenture Country Managing Director.
“The challenge now for businesses is to find ways to stay competitive to deliver long-term sustainable growth, by having the best mix of innovation, technology and skills, and investing in those skills,” he said.