Business activity shows signs of stabilisation in March

Today sees the release of March data from the Ulster Bank Northern Ireland PMI®. The latest report – produced for Ulster Bank by IHS Markit – pointed to output and new orders nearing stabilisation, while employment increased amid growing confidence for the year-ahead outlook. That said, input costs and output prices surged at record rates, while there were widespread reports of supply delays.

Continue reading

Output price inflation at record high amid steep rise in input costs

Today sees the release of February data from the Ulster Bank Northern Ireland PMI. The latest report – produced for Ulster Bank by IHS Markit – signalled further sharp falls in output and new orders in the Northern Ireland private sector amid the continuing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) lockdown. Meanwhile, prices surged higher, with selling prices raised to the greatest extent since the survey began in August 2002.

Continue reading

Output falls at fastest pace since May last year amid COVID-19 lockdown

Today sees the release of January data from the Ulster Bank Northern Ireland PMI. The latest report – produced for Ulster Bank by IHS Markit – indicated that the Northern Ireland private sector moved deeper into contraction territory at the start of 2021 amid a further coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) lockdown. Meanwhile, inflationary pressures continued to strengthen, largely as a result of higher shipping costs.

Continue reading

Decline in activity softens, while employment nears stabilisation

Today sees the release of December data from the Ulster Bank Northern Ireland PMI. The latest report – produced for Ulster Bank by IHS Markit – signalled that the Northern Ireland private sector remained in contraction, but rates of decline in output, new orders and employment all softened. Meanwhile, inflationary pressures strengthened.

Continue reading

Chief Economist’s Weekly Briefing – ‘Exhausted’ but ‘hopeful’

This week’s title draws on the most popular words being used to describe 2020 and 2021 according to a recent survey. Well barring the expletives! The fight against the virus has left the world worn out but this has not prevented households and businesses from hoping for a better future, even when new challenges continue to arise. So it’s a hopeful note that we end our year on.

Continue reading

Output falls at faster pace amid COVID-19 restrictions

Today sees the release of November data from the Ulster Bank Northern Ireland PMI. The latest report – produced for Ulster Bank by IHS Markit – indicated that lockdown restrictions in order to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic resulted in declines in output and new orders. Employment also decreased, while inflationary pressures strengthened.

Continue reading

Activity increases, but new orders take a step back

Today sees the release of August data from the Ulster Bank Northern Ireland PMI. The latest report – produced for Ulster Bank by IHS Markit – indicated that although business activity increased for the second month running, the rate of expansion softened amid signs of a stalling in the recovery in new orders. There remained further evidence of spare capacity, which led to a sharper reduction in employment. The rate of cost inflation quickened, but firms lowered their selling prices to try and attract new business.

Continue reading

Business activity returns to growth in July

Today sees the release of July data from the Ulster Bank Northern Ireland PMI®. The latest report – produced for Ulster Bank by IHS Markit – showed that companies in Northern Ireland increased their output amid signs of a recovery being underway following sharp falls earlier in the year. New orders also returned to growth, but employment continued to decline and firms were often required to lower selling prices in order to secure new work.

Continue reading

Rate of decline in activity slows sharply in June

Today sees the release of June data from the Ulster Bank Northern Ireland PMI®. The latest report – produced for Ulster Bank by IHS Markit – indicated that the Northern Ireland private sector continued to be impacted by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), seeing further reductions in output, new orders and employment. That said, rates of decline softened amid a loosening of lockdown restrictions.

Continue reading