Brexit worries playing on minds of businesses in North

However, latest PMI figures suggest business activity has continued to increase

Businesses less positive than they have been because of Brexit worries, latest indicators show

Businesses less positive than they have been because of Brexit worries, latest indicators show

 

Businesses in North are upbeat about their prospects for the next 12 months but less positive than they have been because of reduced consumer confidence, political instability and Brexit worries, latest indicators show.

Despite this, Ulster Bank’s Northern Ireland PMI also suggests business activity in Northern Ireland continued to increase last month.

Overall, both output and new orders rose, although at slightly slower rates, while job creation increased modestly during June.

As in previous months, Northern Ireland companies benefitted from a solid increase in new export orders, but the growth in export orders was slower than in previous months. Many firms still indicated that they had won new business from clients in the Republic last month.

Ulster Bank’s latest research highlights that the local manufacturing and services sectors enjoyed the strongest rise in growth. However, the construction and retail sectors warned that business activity has eased off.

Firms also complained that, during June, sterling’s ongoing weakness once again pushed input prices up but the rate of inflation eased for the second month in a row and was the slowest on record for a year.

According to Richard Ramsey, chief economist Northern Ireland, Ulster Bank, the latest PMI report shows that the North’s private sector economy has entered the latter part of the year “with some momentum”.

“Business activity has performed more strongly than perhaps would have been expected, with the services sector the star performer in the past quarter,” he said.

Mr Ramsey added: “In June, business activity continued to expand, but the rate of growth has been easing and currently sits at an eight-month low.

“On the positive side, employment and exports continue to rise, but the overall theme is one of easing, with these indicators expanding less robustly than in the previous month.”