Real case of glass half full or half empty. NI best growth of service exports 2015-16. But low base

On Wednesday the UK statistics agency (Office for National Statistics) published new (experimental) data relating to levels of service sector exports from each of the major UK regions/nations.

   24 October 2018

On Wednesday the UK statistics agency (Office for National Statistics) published new (experimental) data relating to levels of service sector exports from each of the major UK regions/nations.

This is a case of good news/bad news. Northern Ireland did very well in terms of growth between 2015 and 2016. However, this came from a relatively low base.

Northern Ireland had the highest percentage growth of any of the 12 UK regions: 17%. The next two most rapid growth rates were in the North East of England, 14.3%, and London, 13.2% That’s the good news.

Unfortunately, the total level of service sector exports produced by the Northern Ireland economy is still a small one in proportional terms. In 2016 total exports were £2.79bn or about 1% of the UK total (which was £254bn). The overall Northern Ireland economy is about 2% of the UK total. This would imply our share of total UK service exports is smaller than might have been expected.

Dr Esmond Birnie

Senior Economist (Economic Research)

Department of Acc, Finance & Economics

Areas of expertise Economic policy, competitiveness, economic growth and productivity.