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Northern Ireland economy grows by 1.6% over 12 months

By John Mulgrew

Published 13/10/2016

Economy Minister Simon Hamilton
Economy Minister Simon Hamilton

Northern Ireland's economy has grown by 1.6% over the last 12 months, according to fresh official statistics.

It expanded from the second quarter of 2015 to the same period this year, with the services sector driving most of the growth, according to the NI Composite Index.

And while annual grow here is falling behind the UK average of 2.1%, Northern Ireland saw greater levels of expansion in the last quarter.

During the second quarter of 2016, the Northern Ireland economy grew by 1%, compared with 0.7% across the UK as a whole.

Economy Minister Simon Hamilton said: “These statistics published by NISRA today present a positive picture of our economy and demonstrate that we are moving in the right direction.

"I am also encouraged to see that the quarterly growth in Northern Ireland activity is again greater than that recorded for the UK as a whole.”

Dr Esmond Birnie of the Ulster University Economic Policy Centre said that if quarterly growth is “continued over the next nine months that would imply annual growth rate of about 4%”.

But Andrew Webb of Webb Advisory said “we must bear in mind that these figures related to the period just before the vote to leave the EU but it is better to face into the challenges of leaving the EU from a position of growth and confidence”.

Meanwhile, construction levels in Northern Ireland have increased by 4.1%, according to new figures.

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