The Northern Ireland Composite Economic Index (NICEI) Quarter 2 2022 was published today by the Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency (NISRA).
The key points were:
NI Economic output decreased over the quarter and increased over the year, 3 year and rolling four quarters.
- The NICEI indicates that economic output decreased by 0.1 per cent over the quarter to June 2022 and increased by 2.4 per cent over the year to June 2022.
- It is important to recognise there has been some volatility in the NICEI during the COVID-19 pandemic. As lockdown measures were introduced to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and subsequently eased, this led to the NICEI falling to a series low in Q2 2020, followed by the highest quarterly increase in the NICEI to Q3 2020.
- As a result, it is perhaps worth considering triennial change, comparing the change over three years i.e. Quarter 2 2022 and Quarter 2 2019 (the previous Quarter 2 before the pandemic) as opposed to annual change in order to mitigate any volatility arising from the pandemic in the NICEI. In terms of triennial change, NI economic output has increased at a faster rate (4.6 per cent) compared to the annual change (2.4 per cent) in the NICEI to Q2 2022.
- The overall decrease in the NICEI was driven primarily by the Services sector (-0.1 pps), followed by positive contributions from the Public Sector (0.1 pps) and the Production sector (0.1 pps) and the contribution from the Construction sector remained unchanged (0.0 pps). Note that figures may not sum due to rounding.
NI Economic Activity increased at a faster rate compared to UK GDP over the 3 year period.
- Although the measures are not produced on a fully equivalent basis, comparisons with the UK show that NI Economic Activity and UK GDP both fell over the quarter (-0.1 per cent). NI output increased at a faster rate than UK GDP triennially (i.e. over 3 years, 4.6 per cent vs 1.1 per cent). However, UK GDP grew at a faster rate than the NICEI over the year (2.4 per cent for NI vs 2.9 per cent for the UK) and rolling annual average (5.1 per cent for NI and 6.3 per cent for the UK).
Both the Public and Private sectors increased over the quarter, year, 3 year and rolling four quarters.
- NI’s Private sector output as measured by the NICEI decreased over the by quarter (-0.2 per cent) but increased over the year (2.3 per cent) and on a triennial basis (4.4 per cent). Meanwhile, the NICEI Public Sector (employee jobs) index increased over the quarter (0.3 per cent), over the year (2.6 per cent) and on a triennial basis (5.2 per cent).
- For the Private sector, average growth for the four quarters to Quarter 2 2022 compared to the previous four quarters increased by 5.9 per cent. Whilst the Public sector (employee jobs) index increased by 2.4 per cent over the same period.
- The NICEI indicates NI economic output decreased by 0.1 per cent in real terms over the quarter and increased by 2.4 per cent over the year. In addition, output has increased at a faster rate triennially (4.6 per cent) compared to the annual change. The annualised rate of growth (i.e. the most recent four quarters compared to the previous four quarters) increased by 5.1 per cent over the period.
- It is evident that the Services sector (which accounts for 53 per cent of NI GVA) is the main driver of change in the NICEI’s performance over the quarter, year, triennial and rolling four quarter average. It is also worth noting that in Q2 2022 both the Production and Public Sectors made a positive contribution to NICEI over the quarter, year, triennial and rolling four quarter period. In contrast, activity in the Construction Sector remained flat over the quarter and decreased over the year to Q2 2022.
- Economic activity had increased gradually in recent years (2013-2019) until the onset of the pandemic, following the prolonged downturn post 2007. Recently the NICEI and Private Sector Component Indices have recovered from their respective series lows in Q2 2020, reaching an almost 15 year high in Q1 2022, however whilst these indices have fallen back marginally in Q2 2022 they broadly remain at the 15 year high point.
- The quarterly decline in the NICEI between Q1 2022 and Q2 2022 meant that currently the NICEI is 0.2 per cent below the maximum value recorded in Quarter 2 2007. UK GDP in Quarter 2 2022 is estimated to be 16.2 per cent higher than its pre-economic downturn peak of Quarter 1 2008.
Notes to editors:
1. The statistical bulletin, fact sheet and associated tables are available on the NI Composite Economic Index page of the NISRA website.
2. The NISRA Northern Ireland Composite Economic Index (NICEI) is a quarterly measure of the performance of the Northern Ireland (NI) economy based on available official statistics.
3. The NICEI combines existing published quarterly indices (i.e. Index of Services (IOS), Index of Production (IOP), Quarterly Construction Enquiry (QCE)), public sector employee jobs data from the Quarterly Employment Survey (QES), and unpublished agricultural output data from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA). These indices are weighted using ONS Regional Accounts Gross Value Added (GVA) data to provide a proxy measure of total economic output in the NI economy on a quarterly basis.
4. The NICEI output measures relate to the second quarter (April - June) of 2022. These estimates are based on surveys of businesses and estimates of change are subject to sampling error. Figures for a quarter may be revised if more complete information subsequently becomes available.
5. The NICEI back series is calculated each quarter, typically the revisions to the NICEI are reasonably minor. The revisions this quarter were more noticeable, further information is available in the detailed statistical bulletin available on the NI Composite Economic Index page of the NISRA website.
6. 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.
7. Further information and tables from each of the data sources are available on the NISRA webiste.
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11. Feedback is welcomed and should be addressed to: Responsible Economist: David Graham, Economic & Labour Market Statistics Branch (ELMS), Tel: 028 9052 9439.
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