Business activity rises at fastest pace for a year-and-a-half

Today sees the release of March data from the Ulster Bank Northern Ireland PMI®. The latest report – produced for Ulster Bank by Markit – indicated that the Northern Ireland private sector ended the first quarter of 2016 on a high, with growth of both output and new orders accelerating.

PMI March 2016 findings:

  • The headline seasonally adjusted Business Activity Index rose to 56.4 in March from 54.9 in February
  • The rate of expansion in Northern Ireland was in excess of the UK average
  • Service providers recorded a sharp increase in activity, and the strongest since July 2014.
  • Growth was also seen at construction and retail companies, while manufacturing output stabilised following a fall in February
  • Employment also continued to increase at a solid pace
  • The rate of input cost inflation eased, while output prices were broadly unchanged
  • New orders also increased at a faster pace in March, the rate of growth quickening to an 18-month high
  • New export orders also increased
  • Northern Ireland companies increased staffing levels in March, for the 14th month in a row
  • Backlogs of work rose for the fifth successive month, and at a faster pace than in February
  • Although input prices continued to increase during March, the rate of inflation eased to the slowest since last November
  • The construction sector posted the fastest rise in input prices of the four monitored sectors
  • Northern Ireland companies left their output prices broadly unchanged

PMI March 2016 infographic:


Download the PMI Report (March 2016)

Listen to Richard Ramsey talking about the latest PMI

You can also click to view the Ulster Bank Construction PMI Report (ROI).

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