Northern Ireland Broad Economy Sales and Exports Statistics: Goods and Services Results 2019

Date published: 28 July 2021

The latest Broad Economy Sales and Exports Statistics (BESES) goods and services estimates for 2019 were published today by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA).

Statistical bulletin
Statistical bulletin

The bulletin can be accessed via the NISRA website.

Main results

  1. Total sales by companies in Northern Ireland (NI) were estimated to be worth £79 billion in 2019, representing an increase of £3.2 billion (4.6%) since 2018.
  2. Two thirds (66.5%) of the total sales in 2019 related to the sale of goods (£47.8 billion) with the remaining third (33.5%) relating to the sale of services (£24.1 billion). Both the sale of goods and the sale of services experienced growth between 2018 and 2019, increasing by £1.5 billion (3.1%) and £1.7 billion (7.6%) respectively.
  3. External sales to markets outside of NI were estimated to be worth £20 billion in 2019, increasing by £0.7 billion (3.3%) since 2018. Goods accounted for £15.9 billion (69.3%) of these external sales, representing an increase of £0.3 billion (2.1%) since 2018. Again, there was a more marked percentage increase in the external sale of services, which accounted for £7.0 billion (30.7%) of all external sales in 2019, increasing by 6.2% (£0.4 billion) over the year.
  4. Northern Ireland’s exports (i.e. sales outside the UK) were estimated to be worth £11.7 billion in 2019, representing a £45 million (0.4%) increase over the year. The majority of exports (78.0%) can be attributed to the export of goods which were estimated to be worth £9.1 billion (an increase of £31 million (0.3%) since 2018). Services accounted for the remaining £2.6 billion (22.0%) of exports, rising by £14 million (0.6%) over the period in question.
  5. BESES estimates are not directly comparable with HMRC Regional Trade Statistics due to methodological differences.

Other Releases

  1. The latest Local Unit results from the Annual Business Inquiry for survey year 2019 will be published on 30 July 202
  2. The Business Register and Employment Survey report for 2020 will be published on 3 August 2021.
  3. The next Labour Market Report will be published on 17 August 2021.

Notes to editors: 

  1. NISRA's BESES results relating to local businesses’ sales in 2019 to markets outside NI in April 2021 can be viewed on the NISRA website.
  2. This bulletin provides further disaggregation of these results into the value of goods and services sold. Figures for 2019 are provisional and may be subject to revision. This information is also consistent with results for the non-financial business economy published by NISRA in April 2021 (Annual Business Inquiry (ABI)). Details can be found on the Annual Business Inquiry page of the NISRA website.
  3. The BESES series is designated as experimental statistics under the Code of Practice for Official Statistics reflecting the fact that they are still under development. The Code of Practice for Official Statistics recommends releasing statistical work in progress, such as experimental statistics. These are defined as “new official statistics undergoing evaluation that are published in order to involve users and stakeholders in their development and as a means to build in quality at an early stage”.
  4. These statistics are currently undergoing review by the Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) with a view to attaining National Statistics accreditation. Details can be found at the Office for Statistics Regulation website and also on the website's National Statistics page.
  5. More detailed statistical information including data tables and definitions of the methodology used is available on the NISRA website.
  6. Follow us on Twitter.
  7. For media enquiries, please contact the Department for the Economy Press Office at
  8. 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.
  9. General information can be obtained from Damian Buchanan, Economic & Labour Market Statistics Branch, on Tel: (028) 9052 9648 or at
  10. Follow NISRA on Twitter.

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