Since 2008 the major central banks have been, by and large, pushing in the same direction. No longer. There’s widening clear blue water separating the outlook for interest rates either side of the pond.
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 faster rises in output and new orders at the end of 2017. The marked expansion in new orders resulted in a build-up of backlogs of work and stronger job creation. Rates of both input cost and output price inflation remained elevated, despite easing from November.
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