The latest official figures for the economy in Northern Ireland appears to show the service sector in pretty rude health, but the manufacturing sector has seen a small fall in output overall. As the services sector is the major player in the Northern Irish economy this is very positive news. The sector grew by around 1.8% through 2022.
A Detailed Look At The State Of The Economy
Here are some further figures relating to the state of the economy as relayed from a recent article on the BBC News website. The article says that:
‘The business services and finance subsector saw output grow by 1% over the quarter to reach a record high.
‘It covers industries like IT, accountancy and law.
‘Retail sales grew by 2.2% over the quarter but were still 2.3% lower than the same period in 2021.
‘The NI retail sector has still not fully recovered since the pandemic and has shown a decline in annual growth in 10 of the last 12 quarters.
‘It was a mixed picture for manufacturing leading to overall output to fall by 0.1% over the quarter but grow by 0.9% over the year.
‘The chemicals and pharma subsector saw a continuing fall in output which may reflect the fact that NI was a major source of covid test kits during the pandemic.
‘Output was down by by 6.3% over the quarter and 36.7% over the year.’
Robust Growth In Engineering And Food
‘Meanwhile the two largest manufacturing subsectors, engineering and food saw robust growth.
‘The food sector saw output grow by 1.5% over the quarter and 8.3% over the year.
‘Engineering output was up by 3.7% over the quarter and nearly 20% over the year.
‘Northern Ireland’s economy fell into a technical recession in the third quarter of 2022 and its not yet clear if these figures will represent a return to growth for the economy as a whole.’
The overall economy in any country takes time to gain momentum once more after a stagnant period, so it was always likely that the bounce back from such a torrid couple of years or so would be slow. But barring any more huge setbacks such as we have seen with the Covid pandemic and then the war in Ukraine, we should be seeing some brighter times ahead of us in the not too distant future. And the services sector could well be leading the way for us.