Belfast Telegraph

Turnover of Northern Ireland's businesses up by 5.7% in one year

By Ryan McAleer

The income generated by Northern Ireland's construction sector soared by £352m in a year, new business data has shown.

The increase, equivalent to an 18.7% rise, was revealed in an annual report released yesterday into the income generated by businesses here during 2016.

The Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) said that when the cost of goods and services were taken out of the equation, the turnover generated by Northern Ireland businesses during 2016 was £21.64bn, 5.7% more than in 2015.

The figure does not take into account the farming or financial services sectors.

It's the sixth consecutive annual rise in the turnover generated by Northern Ireland's non-financial businesses. NISRA said the key contributor to the growth was the production and construction sectors. Northern Ireland's production sector experienced a 7.9% increase in the income generated by businesses during 2016, worth £467m more than 2015.

The majority of growth has been attributed to the manufacturing industry as well as businesses involved in water supply and waste.

Construction was also buoyant, with the 2016 income recorded as £2.23bn, 18.7% (£352m) more than 2015, when the figure was £1.88bn. The construction sector also saw an 8.8% rise in turnover and a 7.4% rise in purchases between 2015 and 2016.

The non-financial services sector also recorded a growth of 3.6% (£276m), while retail and wholesale trade (distribution sector) grew by 1.4% (£68m).

Turnover in Northern Ireland's non-financial business economy as a whole increased by 2.9% (£1.92bn) over the year and purchases of goods, materials, energy, water and services increased by 2.0% (£860m).

The new report reveals that the non-financial business economy showed a faster pace of growth than the UK overall. UK recorded an increase of 3.6% compared to 5.7% in NI between 2015 and 2016.

Comparing turnover, the UK grew by 3.3% compared to a 2.9% increase for Northern Ireland. The value of purchases in the UK increased by 3.2% year-on-year compared to a smaller increase of 2.0% here.

The composition of Northern Ireland's non-financial business economy does differ in certain key ways from the UK, where as a whole, services account for 56.1% of the economy while in Northern Ireland they account for 36.6%.

Belfast Telegraph

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