Economic output statistics

Date published: 17 September 2020

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

Northern Ireland Economic Output Statistics
Northern Ireland Economic Output Statistics

Commentary

  • Output in the services sector decreased by 17.7 per cent in real terms over the second quarter of 2020. Production sector output decreased in real terms by 14.9 per cent over the quarter.
  • This release captures the direct effects of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and measures taken to reduce transmission of the virus. The most significant was the introduction of restrictions in movement, which began on 23 March 2020. Quarter 2 2020 is the first quarter that has been affected from start to finish.

Services Sector Output

  • Services output in NI saw a quarterly decrease of 17. per cent in Quarter 2 2020, and a decrease of 23.5 per cent over the year.
  • The quarterly decrease in NI services output was caused by decreases in all four subsectors, with the Other services sector down 38.9 per cent ; the Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles; accommodation and food service sector down 16.9 per cent ; the Transport, storage, information and communications sector down 16.2 per cent ; and the Business services and finance sector down 7.6 per cent .
  • The annual decrease in NI services output was caused by decreases in all four subsectors, with the Other services sector down 46.5 per cent; the Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles; accommodation and food service sector down 22.0 per cent; the Transport, storage, information and communications sector down 19.8 per cent; and the Business services and finance sector down 19.6 per cent.
  • The quarterly decrease to Quarter 2 2020 is the largest quarterly change in the history of the NI IOS (since Quarter 1 2005). The NI index is at its lowest point since the series began (Quarter 1 2005).

Production Sector Output

  • Production output in NI decreased over the second quarter of 2020 by 14.9 per cent and over the year by 22.2 per cent to a series low. This quarterly decrease is the largest quarterly change in the history of the NI IOP (since Quarter 1 2005).
  • The UK production sector reported decreases over the quarter (16.9 per cent) and over the year (18.8 per cent) to a series low.
  • The quarterly decrease in production output of 14.9 per cent has been driven by decreases in all four of the main sectors: Manufacturing (14.6 per cent); Water supply, sewerage and waste management (Inc. recycling) (19.2 per cent); Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply (7.2 per cent) and Mining and quarrying (20.0 per cent). The decrease in the Manufacturing sector itself contained quarterly subsector decreases in Basic metals and fabricated metal products (35.9 per cent); Engineering and allied industries (25.3 per cent); Total other manufacturing (25.3 per cent); Food products, beverages and tobacco (5.5 per cent) and Manufacture of textiles, leather and related products (3.4 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 decreased by 6.5 per cent, with the whole of the UK reporting a decrease of 6.6 per cent.

Upcoming Releases

  • The NI Composite Economic Index and Quarterly Construction Enquiry are scheduled for publication on 8 October 2020.
  • The next Labour Market Report will be published on 13 October 2020.
  • The Index of Production and Index of Services reports for Quarter 3 2020 will be published on 17 December 2020.

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. Follow us on Twitter @Economy_NI  

4. Follow NISRA on Twitter @NISRA

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

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

7. Feedback is welcomed and should be addressed to:

Responsible statistician:

Carole-Ann McKay,

Economic and Labour Market Statistics Branch (ELMS),

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

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