A report points to some very concerning developments this year

There's a warning that Brexit, housing and acquisition of talent are all hurting Ireland's economic competitiveness.

That's according to a new report from the National Competitiveness Council.

Its annual report finds that while Ireland's overall economic performance and competitiveness remains strong, the outlook is less positive.

The NCC says: "There have been some very concerning developments this year, recognised internationally through Ireland's fall in the major global competitiveness rankings."

It says the uncertainty associated with Brexit - and the implications in all areas of economic activity - need urgent action to help businesses adapt "to the shift in the UK trading and regulatory environment."

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On the issue of housing, it says the "severe shortage" of available and affordable accommodation is "a substantial threat" to our competitiveness.

"While the council acknowledges the measures introduced over the last few years to address this challenge, the problem continues to grow, and it undermines our economic development and potential. Fixing this structural vulnerability is not easy and will take time."

It also says Ireland needs to "narrow the productivity gap" that exists between the most productive firms and the 'followers' for sustainable growth for indigenous firms.

And in acquisition of talent, it says "increasing demand and chronic under-investment in the higher education sector is endangering our competitiveness performance."

"This is illustrated by the fact that not a single Irish third-level institution has been ranked in the top 100 in the latest international university rankings for 2018."