Positive signs of growth in the construction sector
Finance Minister Simon Hamilton has welcomed figures showing the best performance from the construction sector in nearly two years.
According to the official construction bulletin, output from builders and others in the sector was up 3.9% in the last quarter of 2014, compared to the quarter before, and was up 7% on the same period in 2014.
Mr Hamilton said the figures were "very encouraging".
He added that an increase in new work at home was an "important step" towards recovery in the sector - which has been largely relying on contracts in Britain in recent years.
Construction of new houses showed the sharpest increase, at nearly 9%.
Industry body the Construction Employers Federation welcomed the figures:
"It is too early to say for certain, but we firmly hope that this means we have reached the bottom," a spokesman said.