Economic Output Statistics

Date published: 13 December 2018

The economic output statistics were published today by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency.

Commentary

  • The services sector has recorded annual growth every quarter since Quarter 4 2014. This is in contrast to the production sector where annual decreases have been reported in six of the last ten quarters.
  • Output in the services sector decreased in real terms (by 0.6 per cent) over the third quarter of 2018, from its highest point in the last 10 years (Q2 2018). Production sector output increased in real terms (by 2.4 per cent over the quarter) to its highest point since Q1 2017.

Services Sector Output

  • Output in the services sector decreased in real terms (by 0.6 per cent) over the third quarter of 2018 (July to September), from its highest point in the last 10 years (Quarter 2 (Q2) 2018). NI output in this sector is 3.8% lower than the high point since the series began (Q4 2006). Growth over the year (1.4 per cent) in the sector was below UK growth of 1.7 per cent over the equivalent period (Q3 2017 to Q3 2018).
  • The quarterly fall in the services sector was driven by declines in the Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles; Accommodation and food service sector (by 0.8 per cent), in the Transport, storage, information and communication sector (by 1.7 per cent) and in the Other services1 sector (by 0.1 per cent). In the Business services and finance sector there was a 1.2 per cent increase over the quarter. Annual growth in the services sector however was driven by growth in the Transport, storage, information and communication sector (by 8.6 per cent), in the Business services and finance sector (by 2.1 per cent) and in the Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles; Accommodation and food service sector (by 0.3 per cent). In the Other services sector1 there was a 1.5 per cent decline over the year.
  • In the longer term, when the most recent four quarters are compared to the previous four quarters, both the NI and UK services sectors reported annualised growth of 1.5 per cent to Quarter 3 2018.

Production Sector Output

  • Production output in NI increased over the third quarter (by 2.4 per cent) and over the year (by 6.6 per cent). The UK production sector reported weaker increases in output over the quarter (0.9 per cent) and over the year (0.7 per cent).
  • The change in the IOP is caused by quarterly increases in the Manufacturing sector (2.5 per cent), the Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply sector (4.0 per cent), the Water Supply, Sewerage and Waste Management (including Recycling) sector (2.6 per cent), and the Mining and Quarrying Sector (0.4 per cent). The increase in the Manufacturing sector itself contained quarterly subsector falls, but rises in the indices for Manufacture of chemical and pharmaceutical products (7.9 per cent); Manufacture of Machinery and Equipment not elsewhere classified (7.0 per cent) and Manufacture of textiles, wearing apparel and leather products (5.3 per cent).
  • Looking at the longer term trend, when the most recent four quarters are compared to the previous four quarters, output in the NI production sector fell by 1.0 per cent, with the whole of the UK reporting growth on this basis of 1.4 per cent.

Upcoming Releases

  • Facts and Figures from the Inter Departmental Business Register 2018 and the Women in NI reports will be published on 18 December, and the NI Ports Traffic report will be published on 19 December.
  • The NI Composite Economic Index and Quarterly Construction Enquiry are scheduled for publication on 17 January.
  • The next Labour Market Report will be published on 22 January.
  • The Index of Production and Index of Services reports for quarter 4 2018 will be published on 21 March.

This sector includes other activities not covered elsewhere - education, health & social work, arts, entertainment and recreation and other services.

Notes to editors: 

Notes to editors:

  1. This report will be of interest to Ministers, policy makers, public bodies, the business community, banks, economic commentators, academics and the general public with an interest in the local economy.
  2. The detailed statistical bulletins are available at: Index of Services and Index of Production. Further information and tables from each of the data sources are also available at these locations.
  3. For media enquiries, please contact DfE Press Office on 028 9052 9604. Outside office hours, please contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110 and your call will be returned.
  4. Feedback is welcomed and should be addressed to: Responsible statistician: Alan Anderson, Economic and Labour Market Statistics Branch (ELMS), Alan.anderson@nisra.gov.uk or Tel: 028 9052 9494.
  5. Follow ELMS on Twitter - @ELMSNISRA

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