Further signs of recovery in Northern Ireland economy

Rise in domestic orders and positive job plans cited in Quarterly Economic Survey

The Titanic Belfast Experience: while recovery is under way, the business environment remains challenging and the outlook for long-term growth is far from confident, the survey found. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

The Titanic Belfast Experience: while recovery is under way, the business environment remains challenging and the outlook for long-term growth is far from confident, the survey found. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

 

Northern Ireland’s economy continues to show signs of recovery as illustrated by more local businesses reporting an increase in domestic orders, positive job-creation plans and a strong performance from the manufacturing sector, according to the latest private-sector business survey.

But the Quarterly Economic Survey compiled by the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and business advisers BDO also suggests firms have concerns about export sales and orders, particularly those in the manufacturing sector, as uncertainty continues to revolve around exchange rates.

The survey also highlights that while recovery is under way the business environment remains challenging and the outlook for long-term growth is far from confident.

Prevailing issues, including rising costs and competitive pressures, also rate high on concerns shared by the majority of businesses.

The chamber survey has identified EU membership as a key interest for local firms – 67 per cent of firms are against withdrawal from the EU by Britain; most businesses say they are in favour of remaining in the EU but with specific powers transferred back to Westminster.