11/04/2008

NI Economically Sound: Dodds

Despite the global economic slowdown, progress in Northern Ireland's labour market and trade performance is set to provide a springboard for future growth.

That was one of the key messages from Economy Minister Nigel Dodds, on the publication of the latest Quarterly Economic Review.

The Minister said: "Global growth was adversely affected in late 2007 by the 'credit crunch', with growth in the developed economies of North America and Europe forecast to reduce further in 2008. Latest International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts further indicate that the slowdown, during 2008 and into 2009, presents all economies, including Northern Ireland, with significant economic challenges.

"Nevertheless, looking to the future, the assessment of the Northern Ireland economy in this Quarterly Economic Review gives me cause for optimism. The combination of past economic performance, and current initiatives flowing from the Executive's Programme for Government, will help place Northern Ireland businesses in a stronger competitive position."

Highlighting a number of strengths in the local economy, the Minister added: "There have been many positive developments in the Northern Ireland economy, not least with economic growth (in 2006) remaining strong at 5.6% - the second highest of all UK regions.

"The manufacturing sector has become more outward-looking, with exports increasing by 10% over the year. Furthermore, the Northern Ireland economy has also been able to attract, retain and enhance a significant amount of foreign direct investment (FDI)-based investment."

Recognising that Northern Ireland remains a prime inward investment location, the Minister concluded: "I look forward to the forthcoming US Investment Conference. It will provide an excellent opportunity to engage directly with influential US business representatives. This will allow us to develop relationships to secure further FDI-based investments as the US economy begins to strengthen."

The Quarterly Economic Review contains the latest statistics for the global, UK, RoI and NI economies and draws on a number of independent commentaries to provide a concise summary of the current economic climate.

See: www.detini.gov.uk

(BMcC)

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

20 September 2002
Sustainable development does not mean 'sacrificing economic progress'
Recognising the importance of sustainable development does not mean sacrificing economic progress, the First and Deputy First Ministers said today.
13 January 2004
NI Economic Research Institute swings into operation
The new Economic Research Institute will play an important role in contributing to economic debate and understanding in Northern Ireland and in the development of the local economy", according to Ian Pearson Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State.
26 January 2007
Minister unveils plan to transform NI economy
The Finance Minister David Hanson has today launched the Northern Ireland Regional Economic Strategy for public consultation.
16 December 2004
NI economy continues to grow shows – business survey
Figures released today show a continuing growth in the Northern Ireland economy, with income from businesses having increased by 4.5% or some £568 million in 2003, compared to 2002. The figures are contained in the provisional results of the 2003 Northern Ireland Annual Business Inquiry (NIABI), published today.
17 December 2003
NI economy grows as business income increases
The Northern Ireland economy continues to grow thanks to income from local businesses, new figures released today showed. Provisional results from the 2002 Northern Ireland Annual Business Inquiry (NIABI) show that income from businesses (Gross Value Added) have increased by 4% or some £484 million in 2002 compared to the previous year.