The Northern Ireland economy is showing real signs of improvement. This is according to Ulster Bank’s Richard Ramsey who seems bullish about what is in store for businesses over the next 12 months after a recent survey of 200 firms by the bank showed lots of positivity.
A Rise In Output And New Orders A Positive Sign
The survey by the Ulster Bank looked at the month of February, taking in aspects such as employment, new orders and exports etc. The fact that many businesses confirmed that they had their first rise in output and new orders in the last 10 months is a very good indicator that the economy is at last on the up after a chastening couple of years or so.
Richard Ramsey is quoted in an article on the BBC News website, where he said if he could sum up the survey in one word it would be “improvement”.
“All 10 indicators of local business conditions improved in February relative to the previous month,” he added.
Further Rises In Sentiment Could Be On The Cards In The Coming Months
The survey was completed before news of the Windsor Framework between the EU and the UK surfaced, news that will hopefully loosen the trade barriers between the two sides, making it easier for businesses to trade across the borders. And so Mr Ramsey also pointed out in the article that: “we may see further rises in sentiment in the coming months if it is accepted more universally than the Northern Ireland Protocol was”.
A Fall In Energy Prices Is Making A Difference
There is a strong feeling that the fall in some energy prices has made a big difference for many sectors of the economy where they tend to use a great deal of energy. We have to hope that prices will fall further in the next few months, which is not beyond the realms of possibility, so that the economy can really start to drive forward through the year.
Official figures for the UK have confirmed that the UK economy expanded by 0.3% in January, rebounding from a sharp fall in December. And while this does not sound like a huge expansion at least we are beginning to point in the right direction.
If all goes well with the Windsor Framework deal and it is implemented so trade can run much more smoothly through the borders then we could really begin to see light at the end of the tunnel. Business depends on it.