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22 May 2014

GDP data confirm, “UK amongst most rapidly growing Western economies.”

Today’s GDP figures from the Office for National Statistics confirm earlier provisional data that the UK economy grew by 0.8% in Q1 2014 and by 3.1% in the year to the end of Q1 2014.

That growth rate now places the UK as amongst the most rapidly growing Western economies.

PwC Northern Ireland’s chief economist, Dr Esmond Birnie, says that, despite the absence of comparable local data, the available indications are that we are sharing in the UK’s recovery albeit the recovery is not as strong as in other UK regions.

“Although total GDP is still 0.6% below its pre-crisis peak at the start of 2008, non-oil output is now 0.3% higher

“That is a better measure of the underlying state of the economy as it excludes the volatile, and generally weak, contribution of North Sea oil and gas production

“Private sector services continue to drive the recovery, contributing around three quarters of the 0.8% growth rate in the first quarter of the year, with the remaining quarter being split between manufacturing, construction and government services.

“Business investment estimates are highly provisional at this stage, but hint at five consecutive quarters of positive growth implying a cumulative rise of 12% since their recent low in Q4 2012.

“But business investment still remains 17% below its pre-recession peak in Q1 2008, so there’s still a long way to go before these losses are made up.

“The good news is that the UK economy is now firing on all cylinders; the less good news is that Northern Ireland needs to see significant acceleration to close the gap with other regions and the UK average.”

Ends.

Contact details

Email: Esmond Birnie