Northern Ireland

NI firms 'confident despite Brexit' - Ulster Bank report

Ulster Image copyright PA
Image caption There has been a sharp rise in new business from outside the UK as a result of the weak pound

Northern Ireland firms remain confident about the economy, despite continuing Brexit uncertainty, says a new report.

April had the strongest rise in business activity of 2017, according to the study for Ulster Bank.

New orders increased and job creation accelerated, according to the bank's Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), a detailed monthly survey of companies.

The private sector had an "encouraging start" to the second quarter of the year, said the bank's chief economist.

Richard Ramsey added that there had been a sharp rise in new business from outside the UK as a result of the weak pound.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Job creation has picked up and is the highest in 10 months

However, the value of sterling also continues to make imports more expensive, with "input cost inflation most acute for manufacturers," he said.

Job creation has picked up and is the highest in 10 months, added the report.

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