Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland economic output 'lowest in UK'

Economic output per person in Northern Ireland grew by just 0.9% in 2013, the lowest rate of any part of the UK.

The figure is contained in a report from the Office for National Statistics.

It shows that the highest rates of growth were in the north west of England and Wales, both at 3.4%.

All other regions had increases of between 2% and 3%. The growth rate is measured using Gross Value Added (GVA) per head.

In crude terms it is calculated by adding up the incomes generated by people and companies and dividing that sum by the population.

The average GVA per head for the UK in 2013 was £23,394, however that is skewed by London, which is much higher than other regions at £40,215.

Northern Ireland had GVA per head of £17,948 - ahead of Wales on £16,893 and the north east of England on £17,381.

Meanwhile other research looking at the performances of businesses in Northern Ireland in 2013 showed growth of 1.6%.

The Northern Ireland Annual Business Inquiry is produced by the NI Statistics and Research Agency.

It estimated total output at just under £19bn, an increase of £293m on 2012.

The main contributor to growth in 2013 was manufacturing, which saw GVA increase by 11%.

The construction industry continued to suffer with GVA down by almost 10%.

Ulster Bank economist Richard Ramsey said the data showed that Northern Ireland's economic prosperity, relative to the UK average, was lower than at any time since data began in 1997.

Northern Ireland's GVA was 76.7% of the UK average in 2013, in 1997 it was at 79.2%.

The gap with the rest of the UK narrowed the boom years and peaked at 83.7% in 2007, before falling away sharply during the recession.

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