NI economy expected to go grow by 2.2% in 2014 - Danske

Bank says faster growth in household incomes will drive up expenditure and confidence

Research published by Danske Bank today shows it has marginally revised economic growth forecasts up to 2.2 per cent from 2.1 per cent for both 2015 and 2016. Photo: Bloomberg

Research published by Danske Bank today shows it has marginally revised economic growth forecasts up to 2.2 per cent from 2.1 per cent for both 2015 and 2016. Photo: Bloomberg

 

Northern Ireland’s economy is expected to go grow by 2.2 per cent this year - its strongest performance since the financial crisis began according to latest forecasts.

New research published by Danske Bank today shows it has marginally revised economic growth forecasts up to 2.2 per cent from 2.1 per cent for both 2015 and 2016.

Angela McGowan, chief economist with Dankse in Northern Ireland said the wider economic environment is improving and faster growth in household incomes will drive up both expenditure and local confidence levels.

“In particular we expect to see a rebound in business confidence as private demand gets stronger and uncertainty falls back.

“Surveys suggest that investment intentions are consistent with moderate growth. The strong pound is however the biggest hindrance to the economy this year and could impact upon manufacturing sales and our tourist trade,” Ms McGowan added.

According to Danske Bank’s Quarterly Sectoral Forecast report there is strong evidence of the economic recovery underway in the North - almost 20,000 jobs were created last year and there a consistent reduction in the number of people claiming jobless-related benefits.

Although the bank expects public administration and the education sector to shrink by 1 per cent and 0.2 per cent this year it has indicated that the best performing sectors are likely to be the professional and scientific services (which could grow by 6.4 per cent); ICT (6.1 per cent); private administration & support services (5 per cent); and wholesale and tetail (4.3 per cent).

The transport & storage sector and the hospitality sector are also expected to grow by 4.2 per cent.

Danske Bank highlights that together these six high growth sectors account for nearly one third of the local economy and forecasts suggest they could help create around 6,000 new jobs this year.

“There are many tailwinds pushing us in the right direction such as low inflation and rising confidence, but a significant headwind in the form of the strong pound will also place downward pressure on a number of sectors,” Ms McGowan said.