Falling pound boosts business for Northern Ireland companies
The falling pound has produced a sharp rise in business activity for Northern Ireland companies enjoying a surge in orders from the Republic, a report suggested.
Southern firms are taking advantage of the euro's comparative strength by ordering in sterling and benefiting from the exchange rate, the Ulster Bank survey said.
Northern Ireland companies recorded a higher rate of growth than traditional business hubs like London and south-east England this year. Exports increased to the Republic of Ireland.
Richard Ramsey, chief Northern Ireland economist for the bank, said: "It would appear that Northern Ireland is benefiting from the robust recovery in the Eurozone. Indeed, the latter is currently growing at twice the rate of the UK.
"Northern Ireland firms are taking advantage of having one of the fastest-growing economies in Europe - the Republic of Ireland - on its doorstep.
"Throw a weak currency into the mix and the conditions are ideal for local firms selling into the Republic of Ireland/Eurozone market."
The latest figures were published in the Ulster Bank's monthly data report, the Purchasing Managers' Index.
Mr Ramsey added: "Looking ahead, the robust rates of growth in new orders across most sectors bodes well for activity in the months ahead.
"However, inflationary pressures will act as a brake on consumer spending in the domestic market.
"And longer-term economic prospects are clouded by political uncertainty on a number of levels."
The value of the pound plummeted to an eight-year low in August, amounting to just 1.0954 euro.