Published Friday, 25 July 2014
Low wages have held back the NI economy. (© Getty)
Following a six year downturn, the UK economy has returned to the level it was at before the economic crash.
Gross domestic product for the UK, which is a key indicator for growth, has increased by 0.8% for the second quarter in a row.
Growth is at 3.1% overall for the entire UK, however, the Northern Ireland economy is lagging behind with economists predicting a growth rate of around 2.2%.
Esmond Birnie, chief economist of accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers said indecision around the Executive table played a part in the regions poorer performance in relation to the rest of its UK counterparts.
He told UTV: "What the latest figures show is that the UK economy recovery is continuing and it's now larger than it was than at the start of the downturn.
"The problem in Northern Ireland is we had such a big decline after 2008 that we are still probably 10% or so under that level.
"As many people will know, we are still in a world where wage levels and living standards are very depressed relative to what they were and it will take a number of years to recover that ground unfortunately."
He added: "Part of the reason is that prices are increasing more rapidly than elsewhere and wages were lower to start off with and there seems to be an underlying challenge in the economy of achieving a higher level of productivity or output per worker.
"There is a limit to what government can do so there needs to be a partnership with the private sector.
"However, the Executive has said the economy is their top priority, but that is not so clear on the evidence of their decision making.
"Ongoing wrangles around welfare reforms and budgets suggests, in practice, they find it difficult to truly make the economy their top priority.
"Welfare reform may not actually have a huge effect as it is one part of a much bigger jigsaw, but it is indicative of a number of important issues affecting the economy and other areas where there is deadlock and delay in decision making.
"Such uncertainty is not good for business."
© UTV News