The latest PWC Economic Outlook report, which shows that 11,000 jobs in the private sector have been lost in the past two years, is cause for serious concern.
At a time when the Executive is supposed to be prioritising rebalancing the economy and when the number of private sector jobs in the rest of the UK is increasing, Northern Ireland seems to be moving in the opposite direction.
Yet the finance minister, Sammy Wilson, seems quite content for the economy to become ever more dependent on the block grant.
He is barely bothering to disguise his attempts to derail the devolution of corporation tax cutting powers and seems determined to prioritise keeping money in government hands, at the expense of businesses and tax payers.
The Executive has refused to use its powers to create enterprise zones or introduce imaginative schemes to boost exports. The finance minister in particular, although the attitude pervades the whole Executive, sees his role as little more than a glorified treasurer, moving money around, with little or no thought to actually growing the economy.
Constantly prioritising the public sector is an unsustainable approach. The Executive needs to empower businesses to encourage investment and unleash the entrepreneurial spirit of the people of Northern Ireland.
NI Conservatives finance spokesman