The economic output statistics were published today by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA).
- The services sector has recorded annual growth every quarter since Quarter 4 2014. This is in contrast to the production sector where annual decreases have been reported in six of the last eleven quarters.
- Output in the services sector increased in real terms (by 0.9 per cent) over the fourth quarter of 2018 to its highest point in the last 10 years. Production sector output decreased in real terms (by 0.7 per cent over the quarter) to its lowest point since Q1 2018.
Services Sector Output
- Output in the services sector increased in real terms (by 0.9 per cent) over the fourth quarter of 2018 (October to December), to its highest point in the last 10 years. NI output in this sector is 2.3 per cent lower than the high point since the series began (Q4 2006). Growth over the year (2.8 per cent) in the sector was above UK growth of 1.9 per cent over the equivalent period (Q4 2017 to Q4 2018).
- The quarterly rise in the services sector was driven by an increase in the Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles; Accommodation and food service sector (by 1.0 per cent). This was offset by decreases in the Other1 services sector (by 0.3 per cent), the Transport, storage, information and communication sector (by 0.7 per cent) and in the Business services and finance sector (by 0.3 per cent). Annual growth in the services sector was driven by growth in the Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles; Accommodation and food service sector (by 3.8 per cent), the Transport, storage, information and communication sector (by 4.7 per cent) and the Business services and finance sector (by 1.1 per cent). In the Other1 services sector there was a 3.7 per cent decline over the year.
- In the longer term, when the most recent four quarters are compared to the previous four quarters, both the NI and UK services sectors reported annualised growth (of 2.2 per cent and 1.7 per cent respectively) to Quarter 4 2018.
Production Sector Output
- Production output in NI decreased over the fourth quarter (by 0.7 per cent) but increased over the year (by 2.4 per cent). The UK production sector reported decreases in output over the quarter (by 1.1 per cent) and over the year (by 1.0 per cent).
- The change in the IOP is caused by quarterly decreases in the Manufacturing sector (0.5 per cent); the Water Supply, Sewerage and Waste Management (including Recycling) sector (3.7 per cent), the Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply sector (2.6 per cent), and the Mining and Quarrying Sector (0.4 per cent). The decrease in the Manufacturing sector itself contained quarterly subsector rises, but falls in the indices for Manufacture of chemical and pharmaceutical products (17.5 per cent); Total Other Manufacturing2 (1.4 per cent), Manufacture of Basic and Fabricated Metal products (0.7 per cent) and Manufacture of textiles, wearing apparel and leather products (1.0 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 grew by 0.6 per cent, with the whole of the UK reporting growth of 0.7 per cent.
1 This sector includes other activities not covered elsewhere - education, health and social work, arts, entertainment and recreation and other services.
2 This sector includes Manufacture of wood, paper products and printing and Rubber, plastic products and non-metallic mineral products.
- NISRA today also published additional results from the Broad Economy Sales and Exports Statistics (BESES) relating to local businesses’ sales in 2017 to markets outside Northern Ireland. The latest figures provide a further disaggregation of results, first published in December 2018, into the value of goods and services sold.
- The NI Composite Economic Index and Quarterly Construction Enquiry are scheduled for publication on 11 April.
- The next Labour Market Report will be published on 16 April.
- The Index of Production and Index of Services reports for quarter 1 2019 will be published on 13 June.
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 and Index of Production pages. 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 on 028 9052 9604. Outside office hours, please contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110.
4. Feedback is welcomed and should be addressed to: Responsible statistician: Alan Anderson, Economic and Labour Market Statistics Branch (ELMS), Alan.firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel: 028 9052 9494.
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