NI economic outlook 'unsettled'

Northern Ireland's economy has weakened further in the last quarter of 2005, according to the First Trust Bank's Economic Outlook report, which has predicted an “unsettled” period for the local economy.

The report notes that the condition of the economy reflects a slowdown in the national economy and the sharp decline in manufacturing sector output, but this was slightly offset by an increase in activity in the service sector.

The weakening in consumer demand recorded throughout the first three quarters of 2005 continued into the fourth quarter of 2005.

The housing market has continued to “overheat” as supply restrictions continue to have a greater impact than demand.

The report said that there was evidence that the labour market had reached a “turning point with both employment and unemployment marking time.”

Unemployment stood at 4.1% in February 2006, but the number of unfilled vacancies at 7.2% is lower than in the same period last year.

While, the report forecasts an upturn in demand for local businesses as wider economic conditions settle, manufacturing is likely to see further retrenchment in some sectors, with unemployment set to rise for the first time in several years.

The report said that personal incomes and consumer spending would continue to grow, but disposable income is set to be hit by the introduction of water charges and higher domestic rates.

Although general business conditions are likely to improve over the next 12 months as the national economy growth improves, the reports authors called on the business community top be “much more proactive in making local politicians aware of pressing economic issues.”


Related Northern Ireland Business News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

07 December 2001
Northern Ireland likely to avoid worldwide economic slump
Northern Ireland’s economy is likely to avoid the worst effects of the global economic slowdown, the First Trust Bank has said.
09 September 2015
L'Derry Businesses To Help Drive Economic Growth
The business community in L'Derry has a key role to play in driving regional economic growth, Enterprise Minister Jonathan Bell has said. Addressing the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce Lunch, the Minister said continued partnership would lay a strong foundation for future prosperity.
03 August 2001
Eurozone holds steady on interest rates
THE European Central Bank (ECB) has held steady on interest rates following speculation that the eurozone may be able to avoid a recession in the manufacturing sector. The ECB announced its decision to maintain its interest rate at 4.
22 February 2011
Most Irish 'Businesses Having Problems'
InterTradeIreland has this week published the results of its quarterly all-island business monitor, the largest business survey on the island.
25 June 2009
Belfast 'Village' Boosts Economy
The newly-built Social Economy Village in west Belfast can help to stimulate economic growth in the local area. That was the message from NI Enterprise Minister, Arlene Foster, as she welcomed the official opening of the new 13,200 square foot development in west Belfast, today.