Economic output statistics

Date published: 14 December 2023

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

Young people not in education, employment or training (NEET)
Young people not in education, employment or training (NEET)

Commentary

  • Output in the services sector increased by 1.5% over the third quarter of 2023 and increased by 3.5% over the year.
  • Retail output in NI saw a decrease of 0.9% in Quarter 3 2023 and an increase of 3.6% over the year.
  • Production sector output decreased by 2.1% over the third quarter of 2023 and by 4.1% over the year.
  • When comparing current output with the pre-Coronavirus pandemic levels seen in Quarter 4 2019, Northern Ireland production output is 1.0% above its pre-pandemic level and Northern Ireland service output is 8.0% above its pre-pandemic level. In contrast Northern Ireland Retail output remains 5.0% below its pre-pandemic level.

Services Sector Output

  • The NI IOS increased by 1.5% over the quarter (July - September) and is now at a new series high.  NI IOS also increased by 3.5% over the year.  UK output decreased by 0.1% over the third quarter of 2023 but saw an increase of 0.5% over the year.
  • When the most recent four quarters are compared to the previous four quarters the NI services sector increased by 2.3% while the UK services sector increased by 0.7%.
  • NI services output is now 8.0% above the pre-Coronavirus pandemic level seen in Quarter 4 2019 while UK services output is 3.8% above its Quarter 4 2019 level. 
  • The 1.5% quarterly increase in NI services output reflected increases in all sectors, with the Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles; accommodation and food service sector increasing by 0.6%; the Business services and finance sector by 4.0%; the Other services sector by 1.3%; and the Transport, storage, information and communications sector by 3.4%.
  • The 3.5% increase seen in NI services output over the year was driven by increases in three of the four subsectors, with increases in the Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles; accommodation and food service sector (1.9%); the Business services and finance sector (11.0%); and the Other services sector (5.0%). There was a decrease in the Transport, storage, information and communications sector (1.5%).
  • The 2.3% increase seen in NI services output when the current four quarters are compared to the previous four quarters was driven by increases in three sectors, the Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles; accommodation and food service by 0.2%; the Business services and finance sector by 8.9%; and the Other services sector by 7.6%. The Transport, storage, information & communication sector decreased by 1.0%.

Retail Sector Output

  • The retail sales sector refers to SIC 47 (Retail trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles) and is a subset of the Index of Services (IOS).
  • Retail output in NI saw a decrease of 0.9% in Quarter 3 2023 and an increase of 3.6% over the year.
  • GB RSI output experienced a decrease of 1.0% over the quarter and a decrease of 1.9% over the year.
  • NI RSI output in Quarter 3 2023 is 8.5% below the series high seen in Quarter 3 2020 and 4.6% higher than the series low (Quarter 1 2021).
  • NI RSI output remains 5.0% below the pre-Coronavirus pandemic level seen in Quarter 4 2019 while GB RSI output is now 2.9% below its Quarter 4 2019 level.

Production Sector Output

  • The NI IOP decreased by 2.1% over the quarter (July - September) and by 4.1% over the year.
  • The UK IOP was unchanged (0.0%) over the quarter and increased by 1.4% over the year.
  • When the most recent four quarters are compared to the previous four quarters, the NI production sector decreased by 2.4% while the UK production sector decreased by 0.9%.
  • The NI IOP is 1.0% above the pre-Coronavirus pandemic level seen in Quarter 4 2019, while the UK is 7.8% below its Quarter 4 2019 level.
  • The quarterly decrease in NI production output of 2.1% was driven by decreases in Manufacturing (2.7%), Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply (0.1%) and Mining and quarrying sector (15.3%). This was partially offset by an increase in Water supply, sewerage and waste management (Inc. recycling) (0.9%).
  • The annual decrease in NI production output of 4.1% was driven by decreases in all four sectors - Manufacturing (3.6%), Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply (12.0%), Water supply, sewerage and waste management (Inc. recycling) (0.8%) and Mining and quarrying (9.2%).

Upcoming Releases

  • The NI Composite Economic Index and Quarterly Construction Enquiry are scheduled for publication on 11 January 2024.
  • The next Labour Market Report will be published on 16 January 2024.
  • The Index of Production and Index of Services reports for Quarter 4 2023 will be published on 14 March 2024.

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 RSI has been released as an experimental statistic, which means that it is in a testing and development phase. NISRA will continue to review the methodology and may make changes to it in the future.

3. 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. As part of the NISRA Outputs Consultation which ended on 15 October the experimental NI Quarterly Retail Sales Index is now included in the revised Index of Services bulletin. Similarly, the format of the Index of Production has also been amended.

4. Feedback is welcomed and should be addressed to:

Responsible statistician:

Carole-Ann McKay,

Economic & Labour Market Statistics Branch (ELMS),

carole-ann.mckay@nisra.gov.uk or Tel: 028 9025 5119.

5. Follow NISRA on Twitter @NISRA

To keep up to date with news from the Department for the Economy you can follow us on the following social media channels:

Twitter – @Economy_NI
Facebook – @DeptEconomyNI
Instagram – economy_ni
LinkedIn – Department for the Economy NI 

6. For media enquiries contact the Department for the Economy Press Office at pressoffice@economy-ni.gov.uk .

7. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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