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EU vote 'could be least of our economic worries'

By Staff Reporter

Brexit may not be the toughest challenge facing the global economy, a conference has been told.

Commentator Paul Gosling, addressing a Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) gathering, warned that pre-existing eurozone fragility could pose a bigger problem.

He explained that while it was currently difficult to estimate the impact of Brexit, we could be confident about the other challenges facing the economy.

"I expect ongoing exchange rate uncertainty and volatility," Mr Gosling said.

"I do not have confidence in the resilience of the eurozone economy and I do not believe that its underlying problems have been resolved."

The CIMA gathered in Belfast yesterday for a leaders' forum on the future of finance post-Brexit. Mr Gosling told the delegates that the outcome of the US presidential election, increased automation of jobs and the threat of what might happen if China's property bubble bursts may prove more significant to the global economy than Brexit.

Economist Dr Esmond Birnie, of the Ulster University Economic Policy Centre, told the event that Northern Ireland had so far withstood the effects of the vote.

"There are indications of a slowdown in Northern Ireland growth rates and a lag relative to those in the rest of the UK, but both these trends pre-date the June 2016 vote," he said.

"Notwithstanding a number of areas of strength, the economy has for decades laboured with a lack of competitiveness relative to much of Great Britain and many other parts of the world. That problem continues."

Belfast Telegraph