Consumer credit helps drive growth, but cards now marked

Clothes.jpg

The public finances, ‘the deficit’, and the extent to which Northern Ireland is dependent on public spending have been much explored and discussed topics over the past 11 years since the Credit Crunch. We have also had access to a wide range of data on the state of the business sector, from the range of surveys by business bodies and others right down to individual filings by businesses at Companies House. But despite consumer spending accounting for two-thirds of GVA (gross value added – i.e. Northern Ireland’s total income), there has perhaps been relatively less discussion on the finances of the Northern Ireland consumer, in part due to an absence of relevant insight on the topic.

Continue reading

Chief Economist’s Weekly Brief – Breaking (almost) all the rules

bw2_1121-copyLower growth forecasts meant the Chancellor had some tough choices to make in last week’s Budget. By pressing ahead with business and personal tax cuts now he chose to postpone a big chunk of austerity until the final year of this parliament. Austerity will have to be extended unless productivity and wages stage a dramatic recovery.

Continue reading