Irish economic growth boosts Northern Ireland firms, survey suggests
Northern Ireland firms are benefiting from the strong growth in the Republic of Ireland's economy, an Ulster Bank survey has suggested.
The bank conducts a monthly survey of private sector business activity.
It is considered a reliable indicator of Northern Ireland's private sector economy.
The August survey showed the strongest rate of growth this year, with exports to the Republic of Ireland reportedly supporting rises in workloads.
The bank's chief economist, Richard Ramsey, said: "NI firms are taking advantage of having one of the fastest growing economies in Europe on their doorstep.
"Throw a weak currency into the mix and the conditions are ideal for local firms selling into the Republic of Ireland/Eurozone market."
The Republic of Ireland, which is Northern Ireland's single biggest export market, is continuing to experience a robust economic recovery.
Unemployment is at lowest levels since the summer of 2008 and the country's central bank is forecasting economic growth of 4.5% this year and 3.6% in 2018.
Some Northern Ireland firms are also likely to be benefiting from the weakening of sterling against the euro.
A weaker pound makes UK-produced goods cheaper in Eurozone markets.