Northern Ireland Economic Output Statistics

Date published: 16 June 2022

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

Economic output statistics
Economic output statistics

Commentary

  • Output in the services sector increased by 0.7% in real terms over the first quarter of 2022, and by 12.4% over the year.
  • Production sector output increased by 0.6% over the first quarter of 2022 and by 5.6% over the year.
  • Retail output in NI saw a quarterly increase of 2.6% in Quarter 1 2022 and an increase of 7.0% over the year.
  • When comparing current output with the pre-Coronavirus pandemic levels seen in Quarter 4 2019, Northern Ireland production output is 5.2% above its pre-pandemic level and Northern Ireland service output is 4.9% above its pre-pandemic level. In contrast, Northern Ireland Retail output remains 1.0% below the pre-pandemic level seen in Quarter 4 2019.
  • NI services output is at a series high, outperforming the previous series high shown in the revised Quarter 4 2021 estimate.

Services Sector Output

  • The NI IOS increased by 0.7% over the quarter, 12.4% over the year and by 13.9% on a rolling four quarters basis. The UK IOS reported an increase of 0.4% over the quarter and 9.9% over the year.
  • NI services output in Quarter 1 2022 is at a series high, outperforming the previous series high shown in the revised Quarter 4 2021 estimate.
  • NI services output is now 4.9% above the pre-Coronavirus pandemic level seen in Quarter 4 2019 while UK Service output is now 1.4% above its pre-pandemic level. 
  • The 0.7% quarterly increase in NI services output reflected increases in three of the four subsectors, with increases in the Transport, storage, information and communications sector (3.4%); Other services sector (0.5%); and in the Business services and finance sector (0.3%); while the Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles; accommodation and food service sector showed a decrease (1.3%).
  • The 12.4% annual increase in NI services output was caused by increases in all four subsectors, with increases in the Other services sector (40.4%); in the Transport, storage, information and communications sector (14.6%); in the Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles; accommodation and food service sector (10.3%); and in the Business services and finance sector (7.0%). Note that in Quarter 1 2021 many restrictions on businesses due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic were still in place.

Production Sector Output

  • The NI IOP increased by 0.6% over the quarter (January - March) and by 5.6% over the year.
  • The UK IOP reported increases of 1.1% over the quarter and 2.0% over the year.
  • The NI IOP is 5.2% above the pre-Coronavirus pandemic level seen in Quarter 4 2019, while the UK remains 1.8% below its Quarter 4 2019 level.
  • The quarterly increase in NI production output of 0.6% has been driven by increases in three of the four main sectors: Manufacturing (0.8%); Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply (0.9%) and Water supply, sewerage and waste management (Inc. recycling) (13.1%). This was partially offset by a decrease in Mining and quarrying (4.6%).
  • The quarterly increase in Manufacturing output (0.8%) was driven by increases in three of the six main subsectors: Food products, beverages and tobacco (4.3%); Engineering and allied industries (2.4%) and Manufacture of textiles, leather and related products (2.0%). These increases were partially offset by decreases in the Manufacture of chemical and pharmaceutical products (12.9%); Total other manufacturing (1.7%) and Basic metals and fabricated metal products (0.6%) subsectors.
  • Over the year the increase in Manufacturing (2.1%) was driven by increases in three of the six main subsectors: Manufacture of textiles, leather and related products (12.5%); Food products, beverages and tobacco (7.3%) and Engineering and allied industries (3.5%). These increases were partially offset by decreases in the Manufacture of chemical and pharmaceutical products (6.7%); Basic metals and fabricated metal products (3.1%) and Total other manufacturing (0.8%) subsectors.
  • 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 increased by 9.8%, with the UK reporting an increase of 6.0%. Note that the large increase on the rolling quarter measure is impacted by the notable lows in 2020.

Retail Sector Output

  • Retail output in NI saw a quarterly increase of 2.6% in Quarter 1 2022 and an increase of 7.0% over the year.
  • GB RSI output experienced a decrease of 0.9% over the quarter and an increase of 5.9% over the year.
  • NI RSI output in Quarter 1 2022 is 3.5% below the series high seen in Quarter 4 2018 and 7.0% higher than the series low (Quarter 1 2021).
  • NI RSI output remains 1.0% below the pre-Coronavirus pandemic level seen in Quarter 4 2019 while GB RSI output is now 2.0% above its Quarter 4 2019 level.
  • The retail sales sector refers to SIC 47 (Retail trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles) and is a subset of the Index of Services (IOS).

Upcoming Releases

  • The NI Composite Economic Index and Quarterly Construction Enquiry are scheduled for publication on 7 July 2022.
  • The next Labour Market Report will be published on 19 July 2022.
  • The Index of Production, Index of Services and Retail Sales Index reports for Quarter 2 2022 will be published on 15 September 2022.

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 RSI has been released as an experimental statistic, which means that it is in a testing and development phase. NISRA will continue to review the methodology and may make changes to it in the future.

3. The detailed statistical bulletins are available at Index of Services, Index of Production and Retail Sales Index.  Further information and tables from each of the data sources are also available at these locations.

4. For media enquiries contact the Department for the Economy Press Office at pressoffice@economy-ni.gov.uk

5. To keep up to date with news from the Department you can follow us on the following social media channels:

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. Follow NISRA on Twitter - @NISRA

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