Economic Output Statistics

Date published: 18 March 2021

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

Northern Ireland Economic Output Statistics
Northern Ireland Economic Output Statistics

Commentary

  • Output in the services sector decreased by 5.0% in real terms over the fourth quarter of 2020.
  • Production sector output decreased in real terms by 0.3% over the fourth quarter of 2020.

Services Sector Output

  • The NI IOS decreased by 5.0% over the quarter, by 6.6% over the year and by 9.4% on a rolling four quarters basis.
  • The NI IOS is 10.4% lower than the highest point in the past ten years (Quarter 2 2019) and is 11.7% lower than the series high (Quarter 4 2006).
  • The quarterly decrease in NI services output reflected decreases in two of the four subsectors, with decreases in the Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles; accommodation and food service sector (7.9%); and the Other services sector (5.2%). These decreases were partially offset by increases in the Transport, storage, information and communications sector (3.1%) and the Business services and finance sector (1.3%).
  • The annual decrease in NI services output was caused by decreases in all four subsectors, with the Other services sector (20.7%); the Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles; accommodation and food service sector (5.4%); the Business services and finance sector (5.3%) and the Transport, storage, information and communications sector (2.6%).

Production Sector Output

  • The NI IOP decreased by 0.3% over the quarter (October - December) and by 1.4% over the year.
  • The UK IOP reported an increase over the quarter (1.7%) and a decrease over the year (4.3%).
  • The quarterly decrease in production output of 0.3% has been driven by decreases in three of the four main sectors: Manufacturing (0.6%); Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply (0.8%) and Mining and quarrying (6.3%). This was offset by an increase in Water Supply, sewerage and waste management (Inc. recycling) (10.2%).
  • The decrease in the Manufacturing sector itself contained quarterly subsector decreases in Manufacture of textiles, leather and related products (10.1%); Engineering and allied industries (2.6%) and Basic metals and fabricated metal products (0.3%) and offset by increases in Food products, beverages and tobacco (1.9%); Total other manufacturing (1.5%) and Manufacture of chemical and pharmaceutical products (0.9%).
  • The annual decrease in NI production output of 1.4% was driven by decreases in three of the four main sectors: Manufacturing (0.9%); Water supply, sewerage and waste management (Inc. recycling) (1.8%); Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply (6.0%) and was offset by an increase in Mining and quarrying (15.0%).
  • 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 7.0%, with the whole of the UK reporting a decrease of 8.6%.

Upcoming Releases

  • The next Labour Market Report and the Quarterly Employment Survey will be published on 23rd March 2021.
  • The NI Composite Economic Index and Quarterly Construction Enquiry are scheduled for publication on 8th April 2021.
  • The Index of Production and Index of Services reports for Quarter 1 2021 will be published on 17th June 2021.

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 the Index of Services page on the NISRA website and the Index of Production page on the NISRA website. 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 at pressoffice@economy-ni.gov.uk.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Follow NISRA on Twitter - @NISRA

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