Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland economy: Danske Bank predicts 2.2% growth

Angela McGowan
Image caption Angela McGowan, chief economist with Danske Bank, said Northern Ireland's highest growth sectors are likely to be in professional and scientific services and IT

Northern Ireland's economy will grow by 2.2% in 2015 and 2016, Danske Bank's economist Angela McGowan has forecast.

Ms McGowan has slightly revised her forecasts upwards as the wider economic environment continues to improve.

She said that low inflation should "provide a boost to local demand" and that business surveys suggest corporate confidence remains strong.

However, she cautioned that the strong pound is likely to hit manufacturing exports and the tourist trade.

'Investing in technology'

Ms McGowan singled out agriculture as facing "significant turbulence" from the strong pound and falling global commodity prices.

Manufacturing is predicted to grow by 3.4%. However, the economist said that sector is not expected to deliver new jobs in the year ahead.

Rather, growth will be most probably be achieved by "moving up the value-added chain" and investing in technology rather than staff.

She said the highest growth sectors are likely to be in professional and scientific services and IT.

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