Belfast Telegraph

Monday 20 October 2014

Aga success helps warm up the hopes of recovery

Aga, that bastion of oil-fired heat in houses up and down the country, has had a bumper second quarter because of the storming recovery of the economy in London and the south east.

Beer, meanwhile, seems to have suffered at the hands of the weather in the three months to the end of June, according to Heineken and Carlsberg, perhaps a factor which also helped draw buyers to the former.

Even if that is the case, the fact a premium product like the Aga is going great guns and poor old beer is falling out of favour says a lot.

In our own economy, the latest forecast from Danske Bank appears to show we're also getting better; slowly, but definitely getting better.

No surprise in the bank's report that exporters are the companies faring best in this challenging climate.

The export drum is one which has been beaten by commentators for years now and one which Northern Ireland companies have struggled to grow in the recent straitened times.

The old figure that still draws gasps is that only 2% of firms here are involved in export, however, as confidence starts to improve then more should at least dip their toe outside these shores.

A sector which has less of a logistical challenge exporting than most is the information and communications industry which Danske said will add another 1,700 jobs by 2015.

But even the sectors hit hardest by the downturn are expected to show some form of recovery which will help our economy record overall growth.

That news is something which will warm the cockles like a toasty Aga on a winter's evening.

Here's hoping these and other positive predictions don't turn out like a flat beer.

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