NI business benefits from weaker pound
Business levels in Northern Ireland are in a period of growth and positivity, and this is expected to continue, according to the newly-published Ulster Bank's purchasing managers' index.
16 May 2017
The Ulster Bank purchasing managers’ index for April has been published, which shows an “encouraging start” to Q2 2017 for the North’s private sector. The Irish Times reports a strong rise in output levels, which were mostly driven by new contracts. Orders from outside the UK in particular hit a three-month high.
The PMI reports that the biggest jumps in business in Northern Ireland were seen by the manufacturing and service sectors. Construction showed little change, while retail companies reported a slowdown in growth.
According to Richard Ramsey, Ulster Bank’s chief economist, retailers in NI have enjoyed a “cross-Border tailwind” since June last year. “Not surprisingly,” he said, “the rapid rates of growth in retail sales activity have eased significantly.”
The PMI report stated that April was a good month for job creation in Northern Ireland, with local businesses more positive about their outlook in April than they had been the previous month. Business activity is expected to grow further throughout the year.