Northern Ireland

NICEP says economic growth will slow in 2015

2014 is likely to be "the high water mark" of economic performance in Northern Ireland, according to a new report from a think tank.

The Northern Ireland Centre for Economic Policy (NICEP) predicted growth will slow next year.

This is due to rising interest rates and cuts in public sector spending.

NICEP said the economy will grow by 2.2% in 2014, but this will fall back to 1.9% next year.

NICEP associate director Gareth Hetherington said prospects could be hit "over the next two to three years".

The report found that since early 2012, the private sector has accounted for almost 70% of the 25,500 net new jobs created to date.

It forecasts around 19,800 net new jobs will be created by 2018 and given the environment of austerity, believes these jobs "will be almost entirely created" in the private sector.

"With the welcome growth in the private sector and the current and impending cuts in public spending, the Northern Ireland Assembly's objective to re-balance the economy is happening by default," said Mr Hetherington.

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