Northern companies cut more jobs


Companies in the North embarked on a fresh round of job cuts last month as new orders failed to materialise and private sector activity reported the steepest decline across the UK, fresh research shows today.

The latest analysis of business conditions in key sectors by Ulster Bank points to a further deterioration in the local economy during October as companies struggled to win new business. The bank’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) also suggests the immediate outlook is much gloomier than in other parts of the UK.

Latest indications point to “modest rise” in new orders across the UK as a whole compared to a “considerable” fall in new business wins in the North. It was a similar trend as regards employment.

Firms throughout the UK have generally resorted to making employees redundant as the economy continues to contract but in Northern Ireland the workforce has been cut at a “sharper pace”.

Richard Ramsey, chief economist with Ulster Bank in Northern Ireland, said overall the local private sector has reported difficult trading conditions for October.

Mr Ramsey said many local businesses will welcome the £200 million initiative announced by the North’s Executive last week.

The stimulus package aims to “support people, businesses and investment”.