Media updates from the Economic Policy Centre

Belfast City
Opinion

Explaining World Cup performance economically and demographically?

The 2018 World Cup is about to kick off. Which countries are likely to do well? Could richer countries “buy” better performance?

14 June 2018
NHS at 70: Many happy returns or quite sickly?
Opinion

NHS at 70: Many happy returns or quite sickly?

The 5 July will mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the NHS. This anniversary marks a good point at which to ask questions about how well the NHS been performing and whether the funding model is sustainable?

29 May 2018
Does “no government” matter for business and the economy?
External Media

Does “no government” matter for business and the economy?

Notwithstanding the absence of a regional government since January 2017 the lights are still on in Northern Ireland, public services continued and the number of employees in jobs grew by 2% in 2017.

22 May 2018
What can Karl Marx teach us 200 years on from his birth?
External Media

What can Karl Marx teach us 200 years on from his birth?

Two hundred years on from his birth in the German city of Trier, interest in Karl Marx is reviving. Let us ask what is still valid about Marx and what should be put into, to use Trotsky’s phrase, “the dust bin of history”?

22 May 2018
Thursday: Another non-D Day at the Bank of England?
Opinion

Thursday: Another non-D Day at the Bank of England?

Tomorrow’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) at the Bank of England is likely to decide to keep interest rates where they are: 0.5%, the level they have been at for most of the decade since the banking crisis.

9 May 2018
Northern Ireland’s growth dwindles away
Opinion

Northern Ireland’s growth dwindles away

NISRA published it's latest data about Northern Ireland’s economic growth in 2017 on Thursday and the results make for uncomfortable reading.

12 April 2018
Northern Ireland’s continued productivity shortfall - the latest data
Opinion

Northern Ireland’s continued productivity shortfall - the latest data

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) published its latest data about Northern Ireland sectoral and regional productivity on 6 April.

10 April 2018
The 1998 Belfast Agreement and the Economy
Opinion

The 1998 Belfast Agreement and the Economy

As we approach the 20th anniversary of the 1998 political agreement there is an understandable interest in how the economy has performed over the last 20 years.

30 March 2018
Some progress in NI labour market but still a mixed picture
Opinion

Some progress in NI labour market but still a mixed picture

Wednesday’s data from the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) show continued decline in unemployment to 3.2% in the quarter November 2017-January 2018.

23 March 2018
Changes to the Northern Ireland economy since the Belfast Agreement
External Media

Changes to the Northern Ireland economy since the Belfast Agreement

Twenty years on, the Agreement has obviously been very important in political terms but how much difference has it made to Northern Ireland’s economic life?

20 March 2018
Decline in inflation: Motoring becomes a bit cheaper but shoes are more pricey
Opinion

Decline in inflation: Motoring becomes a bit cheaper but shoes are more pricey

Tuesday’s data from the Office for National Statistics show that consumer prices increased by 2.7% in the year to February.

20 March 2018
NI and the UK Spring Statement: Reasonable short term prospects but longer term much less clear
Opinion

NI and the UK Spring Statement: Reasonable short term prospects but longer term much less clear

Last Autumn Chancellor Hammond indicated that instead of two major fiscal events each year, he would consolidate this into a main Budget each Autumn and a Spring Statement each March.

13 March 2018
NI’s Budget and UK Spring Statement coming along: What to expect
Opinion

NI’s Budget and UK Spring Statement coming along: What to expect

Two major budgetary events may coincide next week, with the Northern Ireland Budget and the first UK Spring Statement where the Chancellor will respond to latest OBR forecasts.

7 March 2018
Northern Ireland’s productivity shortfall continues in the most recent data
Opinion

Northern Ireland’s productivity shortfall continues in the most recent data

The latest ONS productivity data confirm substantial NI productivity shortfall during early 2000s-2016. And little sign of narrowing of that gap in recent years

12 February 2018
Bridging Budgetary Gaps: Scotland and Northern Ireland
External Media

Bridging Budgetary Gaps: Scotland and Northern Ireland

Is there anything we can learn from the recent Scottish Draft Budget 2018-19 in comparison to the Department of Finance Briefing on Northern Ireland Budgetary Outlook 2018-20?

30 January 2018
Our greatest economic challenge: Low productivity
Opinion

Our greatest economic challenge: Low productivity

Keynote Address by Dr Esmond Birnie to Vodafone’s Productivity Nation Conference (25 January, Titanic Drawing Rooms)

25 January 2018
Seeing ourselves as others see us? Looking at NI’s budget dilemmas from the perspective of Scotland’s draft budget
Opinion

Seeing ourselves as others see us? Looking at NI’s budget dilemmas from the perspective of Scotland’s draft budget

On the eve of Burns’ Night, is there anything Northern Ireland can learn from Scotland’s draft Budget for 2018-19?

24 January 2018
The Month of Two Budgets: What to expect in the UK Budget 2017
Opinion

The Month of Two Budgets: What to expect in the UK Budget 2017

This is an new institution- a single, annual UK Budget instead of the previous pattern of a March Budget and an Autumn Statement.

22 November 2017
Deal or No Deal: Economic consequences of creeping Direct Rule
Opinion

Deal or No Deal: Economic consequences of creeping Direct Rule

At the end of this week, Northern Ireland may be entering a political twilight zone or the shadowlands- the gap between two deadlines (as previously stated by the Secretary of State).

26 October 2017
What the OECD makes of the Northern Ireland economy
Opinion

What the OECD makes of the Northern Ireland economy

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is one of the leading international economic commentators

20 October 2017
October Monitoring: Every Little Bit helps?
Opinion

October Monitoring: Every Little Bit helps?

Autumn brings not just darker skies but a small relief to NI government.

12 October 2017
 Not only on the Football Field are we Out-scored by Germany: A huge Productivity Gap
Opinion

Not only on the Football Field are we Out-scored by Germany: A huge Productivity Gap

In 2015 and 2016 each German worker produced about one-third more than his/her counterpart in Northern Ireland. And, for each hour worked, a German delivers almost 70% more than his/her counterpart in Northern Ireland

9 October 2017
Ten Years on from the 2007 Banking Crisis what have we learned?
External Media

Ten Years on from the 2007 Banking Crisis what have we learned?

In September 2007 we had the collapse in confidence in Northern Rock; the first British bank run since the nineteenth century. A decade on from the crisis what have we learned?

26 September 2017
Terminator Economics? The impact of Automation on the Northern Ireland economy?
Opinion

Terminator Economics? The impact of Automation on the Northern Ireland economy?

The workforce versus the machines

21 September 2017
Trade wars in the skies: Bombardier being challenged in its critical US market
Opinion

Trade wars in the skies: Bombardier being challenged in its critical US market

The stakes are high in global aerospace and the levels of government subsidy support enormous.

12 September 2017
A hard time for clothing and shoe purchasers: Inflation continues to rise
Opinion

A hard time for clothing and shoe purchasers: Inflation continues to rise

Office for National Statistics indicate inflation is on the rise again

12 September 2017
Reducing the number of migrants workers from the EU: Very difficult balances
Opinion

Reducing the number of migrants workers from the EU: Very difficult balances

On Wednesday the Guardian newspaper published a copy of a leaked Home Office draft paper outlining possible post-Brexit UK policy on migrant labour.

7 September 2017
The lifting of the Public Sector Pay Cap: Pros and Cons
Opinion

The lifting of the Public Sector Pay Cap: Pros and Cons

There are strong suggestions that the London government is about to relax the public sector pay cap (which in most cases limited annual increases to no more than 1%).

6 September 2017
Thinking the unthinkable: Economics of Korean Wars
Opinion

Thinking the unthinkable: Economics of Korean Wars

Thinking the unthinkable: Economics of Korean Wars

30 August 2017
We must consider long-term issues in handling deficit
External Media

We must consider long-term issues in handling deficit

We must consider long-term issues in handling deficit

15 August 2017
Northern Ireland people benefit from a more affordable market than in most other parts of the UK
External Media

Northern Ireland people benefit from a more affordable market than in most other parts of the UK

Northern Ireland is cheaper than most parts of the UK

25 July 2017
Brokenshire Budget Stop Gap: The £131m allocation
Opinion

Brokenshire Budget Stop Gap: The £131m allocation

£131m extra funding welcome but this represents an increase of only about 1%. A stop-gap until either devolution back or Westminster makes budget

19 July 2017
Getting more “good work”: The Taylor Review and Northern Ireland
Opinion

Getting more “good work”: The Taylor Review and Northern Ireland

In NI as UK generally, atypical working/gig economy grows. The Taylor Review attempts to promote equity but could involve some large tax (NICs) increases on employers

11 July 2017
Does Political uncertainty make economic progress impossible?-  Northern Ireland and international evidence
Opinion

Does Political uncertainty make economic progress impossible?- Northern Ireland and international evidence

Businesses can prosper in spite of the politics in the short run. In the long run, there may be a ceiling on performance. NI may be a model of how not to do things.

10 July 2017
The UK and NI productivity problems
Opinion

The UK and NI productivity problems

The UK and NI productivity problems have not gone away- latest figures from ONS

6 July 2017
Changes to jobs data giving cause for concern
External Media

Changes to jobs data giving cause for concern

Changes to jobs data giving cause for concern

20 June 2017
The Queen's Speech
Opinion

The Queen's Speech

Goodbye to Austerity? The Conservative-DUP government deal

19 June 2017
Goodbye to Austerity? The Conservative-DUP government deal
Opinion

Goodbye to Austerity? The Conservative-DUP government deal

Goodbye to Austerity? The Conservative-DUP government deal

19 June 2017
A PM's relationship with economists can be fraught
External Media

A PM's relationship with economists can be fraught

A PM's relationship with economists can be fraught

13 June 2017
How Westminster's money could be why we're happy
External Media

How Westminster's money could be why we're happy

How Westminster's money could be why we're happy

16 May 2017
Business of the Year awards
External Media

Business of the Year awards

If you create environment businesses will do the rest

9 May 2017
How a four-day week could help with work-life balance
External Media

How a four-day week could help with work-life balance

How a four-day week could help with work-life balance

11 April 2017
Drive for 'good economists' is reflected in new teaching
External Media

Drive for 'good economists' is reflected in new teaching

Drive for 'good economists' is reflected in new teaching

28 February 2017
How jobs market could survive consumer spending slowdown
External Media

How jobs market could survive consumer spending slowdown

How jobs market could survive consumer spending slowdown

21 February 2017
Why I'm disappointed that we're facing elections again
External Media

Why I'm disappointed that we're facing elections again

Why I'm disappointed that we're facing elections again

31 January 2017
Businesses optimistic about what lies ahead in New Year
External Media

Businesses optimistic about what lies ahead in New Year

Businesses optimistic about what lies ahead in New Year

20 December 2016