Belfast Telegraph

Further signs of the recession ending as firms record growth

BY CLARE WEIR

Net income generated by Northern Ireland firms grew in 2012, reversing a decline over the last two years, according to new statistics.

A report from the National Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) showed gross value added (GVA) reached £18.4bn last year, an increase of £498m.

GVA refers to the total income generated by businesses here minus the cost of goods and services used to create the income.

The report, which takes longer than others to collate, showed that turnover increased for the second consecutive year, growing by 0.7% to £61.9bn in 2012.

Prior to 2011 turnover had declined for two consecutive years.

Meanwhile, the value of purchases of goods and services has fallen by 1.2% year-on-year to £39.8bn.

Growth in the distribution sector and other main services industries was offset slightly by a decline in the construction sector and manufacturing GVA grew by 3% in 2012 to £4.1bn following a fall of 7.4% the previous year.

Approximate GVA in the construction sector has declined for the fourth consecutive year and by 4.3% to £1.7bn in 2012, but GVA has increased in the services sector by 4.1% to £12bn in 2012.

The distribution sector – wholesale and retail trade – has shown increased turnover in recent years and a 2.5% increase in GVA to £5.2bn in 2012.

Approximate GVA also increased in the other main services industries, which comprise transport and storage, accommodation and food services, information and communication, real estate, professional, scientific and technical, administrative and support services and other service activities growing by 5.4% to £6.8bn in 2012.

The authors said that the marginal increase in businesses' turnover over the year (0.7%) indicates that total sales by businesses in Northern Ireland were relatively flat in 2012, compared to 2011. This is broadly in line with other economic indicators which showed little change in output over the period.

The slight increase in sales was accompanied by a marked fall in the value of goods and services purchased by such businesses. This reduction, combined with the slight increase in sales, has resulted in an increase in businesses net income compared to last year, reversing the decline in such income reported in the previous period from 2010 to 2011.

London's economic output grew 15.4% cent between 2007 and 2012, the most of any region, the ONS revealed.

Belfast Telegraph

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