Posts in the "Northern Ireland " category

UK Autumn Statement fails to tackle underlying problems

Posted on December 05, 2013 by Paul Mac Flynn

In the Autumn Statement today the Office for Budget Responsibility has upgraded forecasts for growth in the UK economy from 0.6% to 1.4% for 2013. Furthermore they have upgraded forecasts for 2014 and 2015 to 2.4% and 2.2% respectively. While much attention has focused on the speed of the UK recovery, the composition of any such recovery matters just as much. The first point to make is that while GDP growth appears to be growing again, it follows a long period of stagnation from mid-2010 to mid-2013. The absence of growth for nearly 3 years means that the level of UK GDP is still some 2.5% below its pre-crisis peak. Fiscal austerity smothered the beginnings of a recovery in 2010, and the UK economy is only now experiencing what by historical standards is modest GDP growth.

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Permanent link | Categories: Government SpendingJobsMacroeconomicsNorthern Ireland Taxation

Northern Ireland Discretionary Income to fall by 20%

Posted on October 21, 2013 by Paul Mac Flynn

Discretionary income is the income that households have left over after taxes and spending on essential household necessities like accommodation, food and fuel. The report therefore captures the falling income in Northern Ireland and the rising cost of living. In Particular over the last five years the cost of essentials rose by 16.6% while gross incomes only grew by 12.0% leaving working people in Northern Ireland far worse off.

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Permanent link | Categories: Government SpendingIncomeInequalityNorthern Ireland

Once again, Unemployment not the full picture

Posted on October 16, 2013 by Paul Mac Flynn

Figures released today showed a further drop in unemployment of 5,000 in Northern Ireland over the last three months, bringing the unemployment rate down to 7.3% as opposed to 7.7% for the UK as a whole. While some may take comfort from these figures, as this blog has pointed out before, the full suite of labour market indicators need to be taken into account.

Once again the drop in unemployment has been accompanied by a further decline in those economically active and an even larger increase in the numbers economically inactive. In fact there was a decline in the numbers employed of 1000 for Northern Ireland over the same period.

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Permanent link | Categories: JobsNorthern Ireland

Child Poverty - North & South

Posted on September 23, 2013 by Micheál Collins

One in every five children on the island of Ireland lives in a household with an income below the poverty line. In the Republic, the latest CSO data suggests 18.8% of children live in poverty. In Northern Ireland, 22% of children are in poverty. In both, the trend over time has been one of slow decrease, but child poverty levels have consistently remained above the levels of poverty experienced by the populations generally.

In the latest edition of the NERI’s Quarterly Economic Facts document, indicator 5.3 examines the Republic’s child poverty trends using data from the CSO’s 2011 Survey of Income and Living Conditions. Indicator 5.5 reviews the data for Northern Ireland using the latest edition of the Family Resources Survey (2011-2012).

Permanent link | Categories: IncomeInequalityNorthern Ireland

Northern Ireland economy

Posted on September 11, 2013 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI - Tom Healy, Director NERI
Tom Healy, Director NERI

The annual Northern Ireland Economic Conference took place yesterday in Belfast. Typically it is one of the main annual events in Northern Ireland where senior policy makers, academics and business interests gather to debate and consider the major economic issues confronting us. While the balance of speakers and input left much to be desired the Conference provides participants with an opportunity to access information and policy debates.

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Permanent link | Categories: InvestmentJobsNorthern Ireland

A broader view of labour market statistics in Northern Ireland

Posted on August 14, 2013 by Paul Mac Flynn

The unemployment rate in Northern Ireland fell below that of the UK for the 3 months to the end of June this year. This is welcome news, but as with all economic and labour market data, a quick glance never reveals the true story.

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Permanent link | Categories: JobsNorthern Ireland

Positive growth, but no cause for celebration

Posted on July 26, 2013 by Paul Mac Flynn

GDP - UK GDP Q2 2013
UK GDP Q2 2013

The UK economy posted its second quarter of positive growth yesterday, and many have heralded the beginning of a long awaited recovery. However, while some growth is better than none, some perspective is needed before one starts popping champagne corks.

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Permanent link | Categories: MacroeconomicsNorthern Ireland

Revisions to UK GDP growth

Posted on June 28, 2013 by Paul Mac Flynn

The ONS yesterday released the third estimate of GDP figures for the first quarter of 2013 where growth was revised down from 0.6% to 0.3%. The revisions to recent historical data also erased the "double-dip" recession that was thought to have occurred in in the first quarter of 2012. Growth in 2012 Q1 was revised up from -0.1% to 0.0%, a stagnation as opposed to contraction. The ONS report is here

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Permanent link | Categories: JobsMacroeconomicsNorthern Ireland

Changing Reasons for Economic Inactivity

Posted on June 16, 2013 by Paul Mac Flynn


Northern Ireland has historically always had a higher rate of economic inactivity than either the Republic of Ireland or any of the other 11 regions of the United Kingdom. While the overall rate of economic inactivity has actually reduced somewhat over the crisis from 2008, it still remains above all other regions. There is a distinction within the economically inactive between those who do not require a job and those who do want to work but can't.

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Permanent link | Categories: JobsNorthern Ireland

Employment increases, incomes squeezed

Posted on June 12, 2013 by Paul Mac Flynn

Employment figures for the UK published today show a small return to growth in employment in the last three months to April this year. The increase in employment has been mainly due to a large increase in employment among older workers, many of pension age, and it is not clear whether this is by choice or whether older workers are finding themselves under financial pressure.


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Permanent link | Categories: IncomeJobsLabour costsNorthern Ireland

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