Economic growth to remain subdued but employment forecasts revised upwards
Sluggish economic growth continues in Northern Ireland, with the economy expected to grow by 1.2% this year and 1.0% in 2018. There is clear evidence that high inflation is subduing consumer spending growth. And with businesses wary of investing in a climate of Brexit-related uncertainty, as well as the Government continuing with its programme of fiscal austerity, growth is likely to remain subdued over the next couple of years.
However, the forecast for employment growth in 2017 has been revised upwards on the back of recent labour market data releases, including new workforce jobs data showing that employment growth bounced back in 2017 Q2 following the decline in total workforce jobs at the start of the year. Employee jobs also witnessed a strong second quarter of the year. Employment levels are expected to increase by 0.8% in 2017 and to remain largely flat in 2018.