Published Wednesday, 02 October 2013
More than half of NI respondents admitted buying fake goods. (© Border Force)
The PwC report published on Wednesday said counterfeit goods have gone mainstream with adults in the UK regularly buying counterfeit alcohol, cigarettes, medicines, films and music, clothes and car parts.
The report found that outside London - the most fake-infested part of the UK - Northern Ireland is the regional counterfeit capital, while those surveyed in Scotland reported significantly fewer fake purchases than the national average.
People in Northern Ireland admit to buying more counterfeit clothing and accessories, films, music and alcohol than other regions.
More than half of those surveyed in Northern Ireland said they "sometimes" purchased counterfeit clothing and accessories, films and music - the highest percentages across the UK, including London.
Almost a quarter of respondents in the region said they had bought counterfeit alcohol, compared to the UK's 18% average.
Of those who had bought fake goods, 64% of respondents said they did so because they "cannot afford the genuine product".
Mark James, from PwC's anti-counterfeiting team, said that counterfeits have an obvious impact on profit and jobs, yet people increasingly see access to fakes as a normal, consumer choice.
"The digital economy and global supply chains have made tracking counterfeit goods and measuring their economic damage fiendishly complex," he said.
"Companies invest significant amounts of time, money in effort in developing their products, while manufacturers and buyers of counterfeit goods strike right at the heart of that.
"Ultimately, companies are seeing their brand, reputation and revenues stolen."
According to the European Commission counterfeiting and piracy could be costing the UK economy £30bn and over 14,500 UK jobs.
© UTV News