As far as economic growth is concerned, the Northern Ireland economy ended 2016 with a bang. Continue reading
The Bank of England’s upgrade to its GDP growth forecast this year takes it almost back to pre-referendum levels. Meanwhile the Government published some of its post-Brexit policy goals in a discussion document.
Boost. The Monetary Policy Committee’s new forecasts show GDP growth of 2% for the UK this year. Continue reading
To say that 2016 was an eventful year would be an understatement. Political surprises have become the order of the day with the vote for Brexit & Trump (“BRUMP”) the highlights. The political landscape at the end of 2016 looks vastly different to what we had at the start of the year. The same holds true for the local economy.
Rising inequality has been blamed for everything from slow growth to political earthquakes last year, but on at least one sensible measure income inequality in the UK is substantially lower than it was before the recession. Continue reading
Today sees the release of November data from the Ulster Bank Northern Ireland PMI®. It signalled that the rate of expansion in activity at companies in Northern Ireland accelerated on the back of a return to growth of new business. Continue reading
Today sees the release of October data from the Ulster Bank Northern Ireland PMI®. The latest report – produced for Ulster Bank by Markit – signalled that business activity returned to growth, although the rate of expansion was modest as total new orders were largely unchanged in spite of a substantial increase in exports. Export orders were supported by the weakness of sterling, but this also had the effect of pushing up input costs which rose substantially. Continue reading
Just when you think it’s cooling, it comes back again. The housing market seems to be regaining a bit of momentum. But it’s not surprising. The UK won’t break its bad habit of not building enough houses. It would do the economy the world of good if it did. Continue reading
The latest economic output statistics confirm that the Northern Ireland economy was growing strongly in Q2 ahead of the EU referendum result. The Northern Ireland Composite Economic Index expanded at its fastest rate (+1.0% q/q) in almost three years in Q2 2016 and hit its highest level in over 6 years. However, this overall headline performance conceals divergence between the private and public sectors. While the former remains in expansion mode the latter continues to reduce its headcount in the face of public spending pressures. Continue reading
A decent month which saw a rebound in trade and a decent year for industry still leave gaps in both. The trade deficit remains at near-record levels while industrial output is 7% lower than it was a decade ago. The first gap is the more significant. Continue reading
Today sees the release of August data from the Ulster Bank Northern Ireland PMI®. The latest report – produced for Ulster Bank by Markit – pointed to a rise in activity following the previous month’s decline. That said, new orders decreased for the second successive month. The rate of input cost inflation accelerated to the fastest since November 2011 and firms also raised their output prices at a sharper pace. Continue reading