NI economic outlook 'fair for 2014'

NI economic outlook 'fair for 2014'

Northern Ireland's economic prospects are looking up for the first time in many years, with a growth in the economy and thousands of new jobs forecast.

The Northern Ireland Centre for Economic Policy (NICEP) has predicted the upturn in its spring outlook.It is forecasting 2.8% growth and 13,600 net new jobs this year as well as 2.9% growth and a further 9,600 net new jobs in 2015.The positive changes are predicted to support a continued increase in house prices which are forecast to rise by 6.7% this year and a healthy 8.5% next year.Gareth Hetherington, Associate Director at NICEP said: "The Northern Ireland economy enjoyed a welcome change of direction last year and the prospects for the remainder of 2014 and into 2015 are positive.The number of people in employment accelerated in the last nine months and this is forecast to continue throughout this year. Home owners are also likely to enjoy rising property prices and we can say with confidence that the property market has finally turned the corner."But NICEP warned that the recovery to date has been very reliant on the consumer and that the recovery would be "short-lived" without accelerated growth in the business sector and improved trade performance.Mr Hetherington added: "It may seem churlish to be warning of longer term risks just as an improved economic forecast is being made for 2014, but with potential economic challenges already visible on the horizon, there is a lot of hard work ahead for Government if this recovery is not to run out of steam."

© UTV

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