The manufacturing sector in Northern Ireland is performing well at the start of this year, according to the latest report from the Ulster Bank purchasing managers index (PMI). Orders have been steadily increasing, along with output, with the sector seeming to be able to shake off the effects of the Omicron variant in double quick time. It also seemed to indicate that supply chain pressures may also be easing, although prices could still prove to be an issue as we move forward this year.
The Private Sector Has Shaken Off The Effects Of Omicron
Richard Ramsey, the Ulster Bank chief economist, is quoted as saying about the report in an article in the Belfast Telegraph :
“Northern Ireland’s private sector has shaken off the Omicron induced slowdown seen in December and has started 2022 on a positive note.
“In January, growth in business activity accelerated to a seven-month high, while new orders rose for the first time in five months.
“Employment also increased for the 11th month running, but with firms finding it increasingly difficult to get the staff they want, the pace of hiring did slow to its weakest rate since March.
Inflationary Pressures Remain A Significant Challenge
“Whilst inflationary pressures have moderated from their record highs, they remain a significant challenge.
“Mounting wage and energy costs are leading to ongoing increases in input costs and companies are also continuing to pass this on by increasing the prices they charge.
“The upturn in private sector growth was in part driven by a rebound in service sector activity, not least hospitality, as the Omicron wave faded.
“Services, along with retail and manufacturing reported growth while construction posted its seventh successive month of falling output.
“Overall, the January PMI is a positive report but whilst Omicron and indeed Covid as a whole are fading, skills shortages, the cost-of-living crisis, and Northern Ireland’s latest round of political instability will bring plenty of headwinds to challenge firms in 2022.”
Here at WHR Accountants we hope that if you have a business it is in good health and looking forward to what this year brings. If you require any accountancy services we have a great track record in delivering a fantastic package for our clients, whether they are a small, medium sized or large concern. For more details on the wide range of services we can offer please give our offices a call on 028 3752 2909.