Belfast Telegraph

Time to splash cash from £1.5bn Tory-DUP deal to aid construction sector: economist

By Michael McHugh

Money from the DUP's Tory deal needs to be quickly translated into construction projects in Northern Ireland, a senior economist has said.

The building industry suffered a 0.1% dip in the first three months of this year and with predictions of slowing growth the £1.5bn package needs to become reality, Ulster Bank's chief economist in Northern Ireland Richard Ramsey added.

Projects like the major £165m York Street Interchange, which would allow the free flow of traffic between three Belfast motorways, have been given the green light after the UK Government said it will provide £200m for infrastructure development as part of the DUP agreement. Mr Ramsey said: "Construction seems to be having a dip in the first quarter."

He added: "Infrastructure investment has fallen quite significantly and we have heard a lot about the Westminster deal, with the DUP getting their £1.5bn that goes for infrastructure and investment.

"When you look at these figures, that is much-needed investment."

An economic bulletin said output in the construction sector had fallen over the first three months of this year.

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