Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland' 'left behind' in recovery

By Margaret Canning

The UK economy may be experiencing a faster recovery than previously expected but Northern Ireland's growth will remain weak, an economist said.

Revised GDP figures for the UK from the Office for National Statistics last Friday showed second quarter growth of 0.7%.

Dr Esmond Birnie, chief economist at PwC in Northern Ireland, said while the UK picture was heartening, things were less cheering at a regional level.

"Overall UK growth should be around 1.3% this year, but Northern Ireland will do well to grow at 0.5% as it relies on recovery in UK and Irish markets, while consumer demand and business investment both remain weak."

July's bellwether purchasing managers' index from the Ulster Bank showed the first rebound in economic activity in six years.

And Danske Bank's quarterly sectoral forecast predicted that recovery would gather momentum next year.

Belfast Telegraph