Job creation slows as Brexterity beckons…

A raft of data emerged from the Department for the Economy today. The most significant release was the Quarterly Employee Survey (QES) for Q2 2017 -a comprehensive survey of the actual number of jobs in the economy.  This is more closely watched than the Labour Force Survey which looks at people working in some shape or form (paid, unpaid, self-employed, voluntary etc). Continue reading

NI productivity challenge highlighted by economic data

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The Northern Ireland economy continued to expand in Q1 2017, according to today’s data, albeit at a weaker rate than in the previous quarter. Private sector growth (+0.4% q/q, +3.4% y/y) was driven by the services sector (+0.5% q/q, +3.1% y/y) with industrial production (-0.2% q/q, +2.1% y/y) and construction (-1.7% q/q, +7.9% y/y) posting quarterly contractions. The fall in industrial production though conceals strong rates of growth within manufacturing firms (+0.9% q/q & +0.9% y/y).

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Its productivity, stupid

During George Osborne’s reign at the Treasury, addressing the UK’s productivity challenge took a back seat role to tackling the deficit. In Osborne’s first budget statement (June 2010) the word productivity wasn’t even mentioned.  Conversely, ‘deficit’ was uttered 19 times. Indeed, six of the former Chancellor’s budget speeches failed to mention the word productivity at all. However, Osborne’s last two budgets did see a new focus on productivity with the word appearing 11 times in March. This was perhaps in recognition of the UK’s woeful productivity performance which couldn’t be ignored any longer. Tackling the deficit assumed productivity growth would hold up.  It didn’t. Continue reading

Chief Economist’s Briefing – Autumn Statement 2016

Chancellor Hammond’s first Autumn Statement will also be his last. From now there will be a solitary annual Budget event per year. Its swansong was a low key affair. The financial crisis still casts a long shadow with the deficit reduction road lengthened again. But it didn’t stop a regrouping for a new attack on economic public enemy number one – poor productivity.
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Philip Hammond puts productivity back on the agenda

public-debtDuring George Osborne’s reign at the Treasury, addressing the UK’s productivity challenge took a back seat role to tackling the deficit.  However, Philip Hammond has put productivity back on the agenda with the word appearing fourteen times in his speech today. In fact, the UK’s dire productivity performance is a major factor behind the poor state of the public finances. Continue reading

Stormont to raise rates before Bank of England

 

2015 will go down in the economic annals as a good year for the Northern Ireland consumer. Falling food and energy prices, coupled with a return of pay rises, have boosted disposable incomes. At the same time, employment growth has continued, with over 90 percent of the jobs that were lost during the downturn having now been recovered.

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