Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland notches up 1,000 more millionaires in past year as economy bounces back

 

By Eamon Sweeney

Northern Ireland has gained 1,000 more millionaires in the last year, according to newly released figures.

We are now the fourth most prosperous region in the UK, Barclays UK Prosperity Map indicates. The research suggests Northern Ireland continues to make economic advances against a backdrop of financial uncertainty created by Brexit.

The UK Prosperity Map is compiled by Opinium and ranks 12 UK regions. It bases its findings on a series of indicators, including household income and expenditure, average house prices and educational attainment levels.

Northern Ireland's growth in prosperity has been accompanied by the number of millionaires resident here.

According to the findings there are now 12,500 millionaires living here - a rise of 8.7% in the last 12 months. This brings the regional share of millionaires to 2% of the UK as a whole.

Jonny Sloan of Barclays Northern Ireland wealth and investments department said: "This year's UK Prosperity Map paints a positive picture for Northern Ireland and highlights that we are moving in the right direction.

"A recent influx of foreign direct investment appears to be driving earnings growth which is helping to drive employment, and this, combined with our string educational attainment achievements and quality of life, accounts for our boost in prosperity in the last year."

The figures also state that household spending here has increased almost 4% in the last year to £500 per week, a rate which is higher than the South East of England and Scotland.

House prices have also seen a 5% growth in a year - a figure which is higher than the North East of England and Wales, both on 4%, London at 3% and Scotland on 2%. The average house price here is now £125,500, but despite this increase Northern Ireland remains second from bottom in the UK.

Northern Ireland's 'business birth-to-death ratio' - the number of new businesses for every unsuccessful one - stands at 1.37 which means it has risen three places in the rankings ahead of the South West of England, Wales and Scotland.

Despite the positive findings, Mr Sloan added: "We still have a long way to go. Northern Ireland comes from a lower base of wealth than other regions, and if our economy is to continue to rebalance and realign with more affluent regions, we need to see increased business investment and growth in exports."

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