January 2021 Podcast: Episode 4 – Trucking Hell

We have published the latest Ulster Economix Podcast.

New Year, new era. January has already heralded much change on both sides of the Atlantic. There is a new president in the White House with Joe Biden. In the UK, the Brexit transition period has ended and through the EU and UK’s Trade and Cooperation Agreement, signed last month, a new chapter in the UK-EU relations has begun. The UK-EU deal that has been secured is unique in that it is the only trade deal in history which creates and adds barriers to trade rather than remove them. 

New Ulster Economix Podcast Episode: Breakthrough

We’ve published a new Ulster Economix Podcast episode: Breakthrough, hosted by Richard Ramsey, Chief Economist at Ulster Bank.

You wait ages and then three come along at once. Since March, it has been clear that a highly effective vaccine is required to cope with COVID-19. A sustained and meaningful economic recovery can only take hold if one is found. Following the encouraging news on three potential vaccines hope has returned. First out of the traps was Pfizer and BioNTech successful trials. Their news saw the share price of Zoom & Peloton slump and those of airlines and cruise ships soar. 

A fresh round of lockdown restrictions in November and December coupled with the incoming news on the vaccine front has seen economists continue to revise down economic forecasts for 2020 and simultaneously revise up growth expectations for 2021. This doesn’t mean that the sunlit uplands are around the corner. 

So what the local economy in Northern Ireland? what is the incoming economic data and news telling us about the economy and the strength of the recovery?

Podcast Episode: Lock-tober Fest

We’ve published a new virtually recorded Ulster Economix: The Podcast episode – hosted by Ulster Bank Chief Economist, Richard Ramsey.

Traditionally a month renowned for its beer festivals and socialising, October is shaping up to be quite the opposite, with the second wave of restrictions hitting the hospitality sector. These have been applied to varying degrees across the UK and in the Republic of Ireland.

With the daily COVID-19 cases surging across much of  Europe, any hopes of a V-shape recovery have been snuffed out.

So what the local economy in Northern Ireland? what is the incoming economic data and news telling us about the economy and the strength of the recovery?

Ulster Economix: The Podcast

We’re launching an all-new Economics Podcast, available on your favourite Podcast app.

Hosted by Ulster Bank Chief Economist Richard Ramsey, Ulster Economix – The Podcast keeps you up-to-date on the economy in Northern Ireland. The podcast tells you what you need to know each month, but not always what you want to hear.

The summer has been and gone. So what about the local economy? What is the incoming economic data and news telling us about the local economy and the strength of the recovery? 

During the month of August, the public were encouraged to Eat Out To Help Out to support the hospitality sector. September it wasn’t so much get out, but get back in. A resurgence in the virus triggered a change in tact from Health Secretary Matt Hancock as he warned the country was at a tipping point with the onset of a second wave of infections.


The Podcast will be available shortly on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts.

Big Economic Review of the Year 2019

Each December, we try to bring together some of the greatest minds in business and economics to review the year just past.

Unfortunately they’re never available. However, whilst you’re stuck with me, Richard Ramsey, we have been able to enlist the fantastic Stephen Kelly, Chief Executive of Manufacturing NI, and the incomparable Richard Johnston of Ulster University’s Economic Policy Centre to consider the good, the bad and the ugly of the NI, UK and global economies in 2019 and to speculate about who might be the economic villains of 2020.

We got together in Ulster Bank headquarters in Belfast earlier this week and covered a lot of ground… Have a listen and hopefully you find it useful and interesting.

Watch the podcast:

On-the-go? Prefer to listen to the review on SoundCloud?

Bye for now and have a great Christmas and New Year!

The Big Economic Quiz of the Year

What were the economic highlights and lowlights of 2018? What will be good, bad and ugly in 2019? Who will be next year’s economic villain? What word would you use to sum up what you expect to see in the next 12 months? These and many other questions about the Northern Ireland and global economies are asked and discussed in our new podcast, which we’ve boldly called the Big Economic Quiz of the Year.

And fittingly, we have some big fish from the local economics community contributing. Angela McGowan, Director of the CBI in Northern Ireland and Richard Johnston, Deputy Director of the Ulster University Economic Policy Centre join our own Richard Ramsey and business journalist Jamie Delargy to review, predict and ruminate.

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Sharp rise in private sector activity at start of 2018


The Ulster Bank NI PMI for January 2018 is out today. It shows a pick-up in growth momentum in the Northern Ireland private sector. Business activity rose at the fastest pace since December 2016 . A sharper increase in input costs was also recorded, however, and companies continued to raise their prices at a marked pace. Continue reading