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Growth forecast as Northern Ireland economy bounces

By Clare Weir

Legal services is one of the sectors set for growth in 2015, according to a new survey which shows that the Northern Ireland economy is roaring back into life.

However, there are warnings that the public sector could shed nearly 2,400 jobs during 2014 and 2015 as the government's austerity drive forces local government departments to downsize.

The latest Quarterly Sectoral Forecast report from Danske Bank reveals that local economic growth should reach 2.4% in 2014 and in 2015.

Professional and scientific services – which include legal services, accountancy, advertising, architects and engineering firms – are forecast to grow by 4.3% this year and 4% in 2015.

Other signs that the region is in recovery are steady improvement in the labour market, rising confidence levels and a high number of foreign direct investments during the second quarter of the year.

Danske Bank chief economist Angela McGowan added that World Cup fever this month should lend support to the retail and hospitality sectors.

"Rising confidence levels are propelling Northern Ireland's private sector onto a positive upward growth trajectory," she said.

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