Podcast Episode 15 | What’s another year? – January 2022

The podcast that keeps you up to date with what is happening economy-wise in Northern Ireland.

Listeners of a certain age may recall Johnny Logan taking to the stage in a black shirt and white suit to sing “What’s another year?” The Irish singer won the Eurovision Song Contest with that number almost 42 years ago. 

Economic conditions back in 1980 were grim with high unemployment in the UK, Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. And both the UK and Ireland were ‘in Europe’ in the shape of being members of the European Economic Community or the E.E.C. And there wasn’t a pandemic too

Fast forward to the start of 2021 and economic conditions were also grim. Private sector activity was falling with households and some businesses subject to lockdown restrictions. Fears of a surge in unemployment once the furlough scheme came to an end were real. Meanwhile the NI Protocol came into force and the UK was only in the early stages of vaccine rollout.    

One year on the NI economy has returned to pre-pandemic levels of output with a record number of employees on the payrolls. The surge in unemployment never came to pass.

Economists, policymakers and businesses are reflecting on the last 12 months.  Not out of a sense of nostalgia, but on what another year has changed in terms of the key challenges of COVID-19 and Brexit.

How are businesses adapting and how has the economy performed?

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