Economic growth in Northern Ireland projected to remain modest in 2024

Economic performance was relatively subdued in the UK and in Northern Ireland in 2023 as high inflation, the tight monetary policy environment and elevated uncertainty weighed on activity levels. In 2024, the pace of economic growth is expected to remain relatively modest. Inflation is projected to fall further and monetary policy could begin to loosen though the overall policy stance is likely to remain relatively tight. The outlook for investment is also subdued and the labour market is expected to soften but continue to display some of the resilience observed during 2023. We are forecasting that economic output in Northern Ireland will grow by around 0.4% this year, with the rate of growth then projected to rise to about 1.2% in 2025.

The Northern Ireland labour market displayed a degree of resilience during 2023. The 2023 Q3 Quarterly Employment Survey reported that the number of employee jobs grew by 0.9% in the third quarter of 2023 and was 2.4% higher than in 2022 Q3 while the employment rate in October – December 2023 was 71.3%, the highest rate since the first quarter of 2020. However, there are some signs that the labour market could be beginning to soften and given the expectation of another modest economic performance in 2024, we are projecting that the growth rate of the annual average number of employee jobs will slow to around 0.2% this year before increasing to about 0.8% in 2025.

Read the 2024 Q1 Quarterly Sectoral Forecasts report here

Danske Bank Quarterly Sectoral Forecast Infographic 2024 Q1