The UK was sending out some mixed signals on growth last week as manufacturing and construction went in different directions. The best news came from the Eurozone, for a change, whilst the Fed continues to wait.
With it being the second day of Balmoral Show, here’s a flavour of the food and drink sector’s value to the Northern Ireland economy.
Today sees the release of March data from the Ulster Bank Northern Ireland PMI®. The latest report – produced for Ulster Bank by Markit – indicated that the Northern Ireland private sector ended the first quarter of 2016 on a high, with growth of both output and new orders accelerating.
PMI March 2016 findings:
- The headline seasonally adjusted Business Activity Index rose to 56.4 in March from 54.9 in February
- The rate of expansion in Northern Ireland was in excess of the UK average
- Service providers recorded a sharp increase in activity, and the strongest since July 2014.
- Growth was also seen at construction and retail companies, while manufacturing output stabilised following a fall in February
- Employment also continued to increase at a solid pace
- The rate of input cost inflation eased, while output prices were broadly unchanged
- New orders also increased at a faster pace in March, the rate of growth quickening to an 18-month high
- New export orders also increased
- Northern Ireland companies increased staffing levels in March, for the 14th month in a row
- Backlogs of work rose for the fifth successive month, and at a faster pace than in February
- Although input prices continued to increase during March, the rate of inflation eased to the slowest since last November
- The construction sector posted the fastest rise in input prices of the four monitored sectors
- Northern Ireland companies left their output prices broadly unchanged
PMI March 2016 infographic:
Listen to Richard Ramsey talking about the latest PMI
Today sees the release of January data from the Ulster Bank Northern Ireland PMI®. The latest report – produced for Ulster Bank by Markit – pointed to faster rates of growth for output, new orders and employment in the Northern Ireland private sector, with activity increasing at the sharpest pace since September 2014. Meanwhile, the rate of cost inflation remained marked but firms were only able to increase their output prices at a marginal pace.
Today sees the release of June data from the Ulster Bank Northern Ireland PMI®. The latest report – produced for Ulster Bank by Markit – indicated that output growth was maintained as new orders rose at an accelerated rate. Increased new business led to a build-up of outstanding work, but the rate of job creation eased. Meanwhile, cost inflation moderated and companies raised their output prices for the first time in ten months.
Northern Ireland has very strong economic links with the US, when we look at a range of indicators, including visitors to NI, manufacturing exports, the number of US businesses operating in Northern Ireland and the number of local people American firms employ.
With it being around 4th July time, this graphic gives a snapshot of those strong economic links.
For further context, it is also worth noting, for instance, that US visitors spent nearly £55million in NI in 2014, which works out on average at nearly £300 per visitor, compared to £220 per English visitor, and around £200 per German visitor.
Today sees the release of April data from the Ulster Bank Northern Ireland PMI®. The latest report – produced for Ulster Bank by Markit – suggested a modest deterioration in business conditions at companies in Northern Ireland as output and new orders declined following growth in March. That said, firms continued to increase their staffing levels during the month. On the price front, the rate of cost inflation remained modest and output prices continued to fall.