Northern Ireland

Weak pound helps 12% boost in NI exports

Belfast Harbour Image copyright PA
Image caption Belfast harbour is a hub for Northern Ireland's exports

Goods exports from Northern Ireland increased by 12% in the first quarter of 2017, when compared to the same period in 2016.

The total value of those exports was just over £2.2bn, which is the best quarter on record in nominal terms.

The performance is likely to have been strongly influenced by the fall in the value of the pound against other currencies.

A weaker pound makes UK-produced goods cheaper in overseas markets.

Majority of exports to EU

The figures from HM Revenue and Customs show the biggest increase in exports was to the United States with the value up 16.4%.

The next largest increase was to the Republic of Ireland, up by 12.5%.

The majority of exports, 54%, went to the EU with 26% going to North America.

Most categories of goods saw an increase in exports with food exports up to 20% compared to the first quarter of 2016.

Wales, Scotland and all English regions also recorded increased exports.

More on this story