Many positives for Northern Ireland Economy – Bell
The latest edition of the DETI Economic Commentary, which provides an assessment of local economic conditions, has been published.
Noting the recent economic trends Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Jonathan Bell commented: “The economic recovery is progressing well with many positives shown in the DETI Economic Commentary. We have positive news across many indicators including a growing private sector, increasing job numbers and signs of growth in construction which had struggled despite the wider upturn in the economy.
“Economic activity has increased over the past four quarters and I am particularly pleased at the performance of the local labour market, where employee jobs have increased now for 11 consecutive quarters and the number of people claiming unemployment benefits has fallen for 28 successive months.”
Independent economic forecasters are predicting that the local economy will grow by 1.9% in 2015 and by 1.8% in 2016. Minister Bell added: “Invest Northern Ireland has continued to have significant success in attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) supporting £683 million of inward investment during 2014-15. I am aware however we have challenging times ahead with the strengthening of the pound reducing their competitiveness in certain markets. Nonetheless, it is pleasing that independent forecasters report that the outlook here still remains positive. It is vital we continue to support businesses to grow, which includes progressing Corporation Tax as soon as possible and building on the record breaking Invest NI performance results to ensure our economic recovery continues.”