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Firms meet to assess Brexit impact on Northern Ireland

Employers group the CBI will meet business people in Belfast today to discuss the implications of Brexit for Northern Ireland.

The organisation - which has appointed Danske Bank chief economist Angela McGowan as its new regional director - has invited representatives from top companies to the event.

It will also ask firms what the priorities should be for the Executive in negotiations over Brexit.

The meeting comes as a UK-wide survey by Deloitte today said consumers are feeling less confident about their jobs in the wake of Britain's vote to ditch the EU.

The Deloitte Consumer Tracker said uncertainty surrounding the Brexit vote took its toll on employment confidence, which fell three points following the referendum result and six points compared to last year.

It said the overall headline measure for consumer confidence stayed at minus 8 for the second quarter of 2016 - its lowest level since the fourth quarter of 2014.

A separate survey by the CBI yesterday found that business optimism had deteriorated at its fastest pace since January 2009. Its industrial trends survey also found that investment intentions were scaled back following the Brexit vote.

Optimism had fallen sharply in the wake of the EU referendum result, while expectations that total new orders will rise are at their lowest level since January 2012.

It found that 52% of firms were less optimistic about the general business situation compared to three months ago, while 5% of businesses were more optimistic, leaving a balance of minus 47%.

Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said the survey - carried out among 506 manufacturers - was a further sign that the UK economy was heading for a recession.

Belfast Telegraph