Economy to Away in a Manger

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We wish all of our readers a Merry Christmas, to the tune of Away in a Manger. We’ll be back in January 2017.

Come gather, Dear Readers

For the last time this year

And enjoy what in our world

Represents Christmas cheer

We’ll tell of the economy

In twenty-sixteen

And we’ll start looking forward

To what next year might bring.

 

Here in Northern Ireland

Our economy grew

Our exports were rising

And wages were too

But when we look at inflation

And the prospects for growth

2017 promises to see

Near stagnation at most.

 

Right through the Springtime

There were many who feared

That the June referendum

Would make this a bad year

The Treasury warned us

Of a shock so profound

But the sole big effect’s

Been a fall in the pound.

 

Inflation is growing

Price pressures will rise

But there seems little prospect

Of rates doing likewise

In setting the balance

’Twixt inflation and growth

The MPC’s clear that

It wants more of both.

 

Sterling’s value has dropped

It seems bad news abounds

Life has got tougher

Though not in those border towns

But households will soon start

To feel a big squeeze

Disposable incomes eroded

From the benefits freeze.

 

Though it’s not all doom

After all it’s the season of cheer

Considering the context

2016 wasn’t a bad year

Yes we had Brexit

And the election of Trump

But the Northern Ireland economy

Isn’t down in the dumps.

 

Many cranes in the skyline

Belfast construction on the rise

Northern Ireland house-building

Has hit post-recession highs

And to this part of the world

Tourists continue to flock

Lots of shiny big cruise ships

Continue to dock.

 

Amongst the significant issues

For our economy to fix

Are poor productivity

And our business mix

We need more exporters

And innovators too

More people economically active

Less folk on the brew.

 

So growth may be feeble

Thro’ the course of next year

With inflation more frisky

At least that much seems clear

Then Article 50

We will come to invoke

Will it unleash potential

Or act as a choke?

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