Economy, Finance, Industry And Trade In Northern Ireland

966 words - 4 pages

Northern Economy, Finance, Industry and Trade*Ireland is currently enjoying a period of economic growth, with output and employment rising and unemployment falling.*Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is defined as the sum of all incomes earned from productive activity. GDP per head is taken to be a good indication of a region's relative prosperity and since 1989, GDP per head in Northern Ireland increased almost by 58%. This compares with a 49.9% increase in the UK as a whole. Having said this however, GDP per head in Northern Ireland still remains lower than the rest of the UK.*Personal disposable income in Northern Ireland has been consistently lower than the rest of the UK, and average gross weekly earnings are also lower than those in other parts of the UK. In 1997, average gross weekly earnings in Northern Ireland were £319.70 compared to £372.20 in England.*Unemployment in Northern Ireland is currently at its lowest level in 18 years. It has fallen from 16.8% in 1986 to 8.2% in 1997.*Manufacturing output in Northern Ireland has increased significantly over the past 5 years, and at a faster rate of growth than that of the UK as a whole. Between 1997 - 1998, Northern Ireland output increased by 2.3% in comparison to an increase of 0.2% for the UK as a whole. Industrial production in Northern Ireland increased in the 5 years between 1991-1996 by nearly 17%, whilst the rest of the UK increased by only 11.7%.*House prices in Northern Ireland are rising at a significantly faster rate than the general UK rate of inflation. Northern Ireland house prices in the 3rd quarter of 1998 were 55.6% higher than prices in the same quarter of 1993.*Over the past 2 years, leading supermarket chains in Britain have made major investments in Northern Ireland, and created thousands of new jobs.*In 1997-1998, the highest proportion of public expenditure in Northern Ireland (32.12%) was spent on Social Security, and 11.25% was spent on law and order.*There is a considerable amount of cross-border trade between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, with the Republic being Northern Ireland's No. 1 export market. However, analysis of visible trade figures (excluding services) shows that Northern Ireland has experienced a trade deficit with the Republic of Ireland every year since 1981. The trade figures for 1997 show that Northern Ireland exports to the Republic amounted to £663.7m (IR£716.1m), whilst imports from the Republic totaled £947.7m (IR£1,022.5m). This in turn represented a trade deficit of £284 million (IR£306.4m).Agriculture*Agriculture is an important industry in Northern Ireland. It provides employment for almost 60,000 people, and is worth more than £1 billion per year to the economy. In 1994, Northern Ireland derived a greater percentage of its GDP from agriculture than almost any other region in the UK (the one exception being East Anglia).*The number of farms in Northern Ireland has...

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