Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland lags behind in cross-border trade

By Jamie Stinson

Firms in Northern Ireland involved in cross-border trade are faring worse than counterparts in the Republic, a major quarterly business survey has revealed.

Companies in the Republic of Ireland saw growth of 42% in the fourth quarter of 2014, while Northern Ireland businesses trailed behind with only 29% growing, according to InterTradeIreland.

The figures found 37% of firms on both sides of the border involved in cross-border trade grew during the final three months of last year, down from 45% on the previous quarter, while the number of businesses remaining stable increased from 43% to 48%.

Aidan Gough of InterTradeIreland said: "Over the last few business monitors, it is evident that the gap between firms in Ireland and Northern Ireland is widening, with southern businesses performing better with regards to growth, increasing employment levels and sales performance."

"Despite an uncertain international environment, it is reassuring that so many businesses across the island find themselves in a position of relative stability or growth," he added.

The quarterly business monitor survey found that cash flow has now become the most significant challenge for businesses. And 15% of companies involved in cross-border trade said cash flow was now a huge issue.

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