NI economy weakens due to decline in manufacturing

By Julian O'Neill
BBC News NI Business Correspondent

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
The stunted growth has been blamed on a decrease in production sector output, which covers manufacturing

New figures reveal the Northern Ireland economy has weakened.

Data from the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) shows growth in 2017 shrank by 0.2% on the previous year.

The reason is put down to a decrease in production sector output, which covers manufacturing.

During the same period, the UK economy expanded year-on-year by 1.4%. By comparison, Ireland's growth rate was 7.8%, according to NISRA.

Northern Ireland's economy has still not returned to where it was pre-recession in 2006.

Meanwhile construction output in Northern Ireland is at a seven-year high.

At the end of 2017, it was 3.6% above what it was 12 months previously.