NI economy sees solid growth- Ulster Bank
The Northern Ireland economy saw solid growth in January although inflationary pressures are continuing to build, a bank survey has suggested.
The Ulster Bank surveys private sector activity monthly and it is considered a reliable indicator of the economy.
It shows retailers have begun to pass on higher costs to consumers while manufacturers are absorbing some of their increased costs.
A weaker pound is pushing up the cost of imported goods and materials.
The flip side of the weaker pound is to make exports more competitive and the survey shows a surge in new export orders is continuing.
Ulster Bank's chief economist, Richard Ramsey, said the sterling exchange rate continued to be a significant factor in the local economy.
"Overall, the positives of the weak sterling, which have been prominent for a number of months, continue to be evident," he said.
"But the negatives of the exchange rate are also starting to feature more and more prominently.
"This will be a major feature of the year ahead as inflationary pressures continue to intensify and indeed accelerate."