The UK economy almost came to a halt in Q4 last year as mounting Brexit concerns took its toll on business investment. However, consumer spending maintains its gradual recovery, driven by higher real incomes.
The latest NIJobs.com Jobs Report with Ulster Bank indicates a robust local jobs market at the end of 2018, despite ongoing uncertainty around Brexit and the lack of a functioning local Executive and Assembly.
There’s no shortage of information on the housing market, telling us how prices and sales activity for instance are changing on an annual, quarterly or even monthly basis. These surveys are important and give us a flavour of how the market, which is a key part of the economy, is performing. But there is a danger that we get too fixated on these numbers and miss a more important trend.
A graph charting instances of house prices being discussed at dinner parties across Belfast and Dublin would show a very large spike around 2007 followed by a deep trough in the years after the boom rediscovered gravity. Indeed, the subject became almost taboo as the downturn unfolded and residential property prices fell almost 60% from their respective peaks.
What a difference a year makes. In the football world, Leicester were languishing at the bottom of the English Premiership 12 months ago, now they look on the cusp of winning it. They have at least guaranteed a spot in Europe next year. Continue reading