Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland economy grew by 1.4% in 2015, according to official figures

Cranes on a construction site Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption All the growth is measured as coming from the private sector

The Northern Ireland economy grew by 1.4% in 2015, according to official figures.

The statistics are measured using the Northern Ireland Composite Economic Index (NICEI), which is roughly equivalent to Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The 1.4% growth rate is double the 0.7% growth recorded in 2014.

However, it is well below the 2.2% GDP growth for the UK as a whole in 2015.

All the growth is measured as coming from the private sector.

It experienced growth of 2.3% in 2015 with services, construction and production all showing increased output.

Meanwhile, public sector output shrank by 1.3%.

However, the NI Statistic and Research Agency (Nisra) said the public sector figure may be skewed by a current redundancy programme.

Nisra use jobs as a proxy for public sector output but it said as an example "a 10% reduction in public sector jobs may not equate to an equivalent fall in public sector output".

It is investigating ways of improving the measurement of public sector output.

Official figures have also been published for the construction industry which suggest it experienced significant recovery in 2015.

Output was up by more than 11%, albeit from a low base.

Construction was hardest hit by recession in Northern Ireland when the bursting of a property bubble led to a collapse in output and tens of thousands of job losses.

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