Improved economic forecast for Northern Ireland

Economic commentary sees economy growing 1.8%

Northern Ireland’s Minister for Enterprise Arlene Foster said she welcomed “positive signs”  the local economy was improving. Photograph: Paul Faith/PA

Northern Ireland’s Minister for Enterprise Arlene Foster said she welcomed “positive signs” the local economy was improving. Photograph: Paul Faith/PA

Tue, Oct 15, 2013, 01:00


The Northern Ireland economy will grow at a faster rate than anticipated this year, up from 0.2 per cent to around 0.5 per cent, according to revised forecasts.

According to the latest economic commentary from the North’s Department of Enterprise, the local economy is showing “signs of improvement”, with projected growth levels of 1.8 per cent predicted for next year.

Independent forecasts from London-based Oxford Economics suggest that Northern Ireland’s gross value added (GVA) – which measures productivity in the North – will be over £1 billion higher in 2016 than was previously anticipated.

According to Oxford Economic, unemployment in Northern Ireland peaked last year and will not spike again next year as was initially predicted.

The latest research shows that Northern Ireland was hit harder and for longer by the downturn than the rest of the UK.

It also highlights that the outlook in Northern Ireland is currently “more stable”.

The North’s Minister for Enterprise Arlene Foster said she welcomed “positive signs” that the local economy was improving.

Labour market
“Whilst the Northern Ireland economy has been more severely impacted compared with elsewhere in the UK, we are now seeing encouraging trends from a range of labour market indicators, businesses now reporting increased activity, house prices potentially levelling off and positive growth in exports,” the Minister said.”