Northern Ireland Business Inquiry Annual Statistics 2017 Published

Date published: 21 November 2018

The Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency has today released headline results from the 2017 Northern Ireland Annual Business Inquiry (ABI) survey.

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Growth in approximate Gross Value Added (aGVA) and purchases between 2016 and 2017

The key findings include:

  • Total aGVA was estimated to be worth £22.0 billion at basic prices in 2017. This represented a rise of 0.6 per cent (£0.1 billion) compared to 2016.
  • Turnover for NI businesses decreased by 1.7 per cent between 2016 and 2017 to £66.6 billion, while the cost of purchases of goods, services and energy increased by 3.2 per cent to £44.3 billion.
  • Results for the NI Non-financial business economy show a slower pace of growth for aGVA than the UK overall. UK aGVA recorded an increase of 5.6 per cent compared to 0.6 per cent in NI between 2016 and 2017.

Growth in the construction, distribution and non-financial services sectors

  • The key driver of aGVA growth was in the NI non-financial services sector which increased by £388 million (4.9 per cent) between 2016 and 2017.  The majority of aGVA growth in this sector is attributable to the administrative and support services section which increased by £211 million (18.1 per cent).
  • Retail and wholesale trade within the distribution sector recorded aGVA growth of £102 million (2.1 per cent) and the construction sector grew by £29 million (1.3 per cent). 

Decline in the production sector

  • The only sector to record a decline in aGVA growth was the production sector, decreasing by £420 million (-6.4 per cent) from £6.55 billion to £6.13 billion. The majority of the aGVA decrease in this sector was attributable to the manufacturing section which saw a decrease of £384 million (-7.3 per cent), mainly driven by a substantial decline in the food, beverages and tobacco sub sector.
  • Full detailed results are available in the Northern Ireland Annual Business Inquiry Statistics Bulletin

Notes to editors: 

  1. For media enquiries, please contact the Department for the Economy Press Office on 028 9052 9604 or Outside office hours, please contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 90378110 and your call will be returned.
  2. Feedback is welcomed and should be addressed to Ross Hume, Economic & Labour Market Statistics Branch (ELMS), on 028 9025 5173 or at
  3. Follow ELMS on Twitter @ELMSNISRA


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