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Northern Ireland economic growth rises by 0.3%

ECONOMIC activity in Northern Ireland grew by 0.3% in the second quarter, according to the latest report.

And year on year, the Northern Ireland composite economic index — which is roughly the equivalent of GDP — has grown by 1% from the second quarter of 2018 to second quarter of 2019. 

Growth was driven by the services sector, the production sector and the public sector.

However, output from Northern Ireland’s building firms fell by 5.6% over the first two quarters.

The Northern Ireland construction bulletin said output was down 1.5% on the same quarter a year before, as well as plummeting 5.6% on the first quarter. 

However, the volume of construction output has been increasing gradually since the end of 2013.  Meanwhile, the UK economy contracted by 0.1% in August, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said. The fall in output compares with month-on-month growth of 0.3% in July.

Ulster Bank chief economist Richard Ramsey said that the figures for the first six months of 2019 suggested that economic growth had halved on the year before.

“Northern Ireland’s private sector has seen its annual growth rate halved between the second half of 2018 and first half of 2019 from 2.3% year on year to 1.2% year on year.”

He predicted that growth could weaken further and even go into negative territory over the second half of the year.

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