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Last Updated: Monday, 11 June 2007, 05:38 GMT 06:38 UK
50th month of NI business growth
The report says construction is driving the economy
Northern Ireland's business sector has been growing every month for the past four years, according to a survey.

The Ulster Bank said the rate of growth in May was below the UK average but was outstripping the Irish Republic.

It said there was a sharp rise in jobs in the construction industry during May and predicted more new jobs would be created as the building boom continues.

The monthly Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) reports provide a snapshot of manufacturing activity.

Its key findings were:

  • Business activity increased in May for a 50th successive month;
  • Growth remained robust, improving slightly on April's seven-month low;
  • New businesses continued to emerge;
  • Sales were slightly stronger than in April;
  • Firms reported increased spending from the public and private sectors, as well as robust gains in new business from abroad;
  • Continued growth of new work placed some pressure on the capacity of the private sector, which was highlighted by another moderate increase in levels of outstanding business in May;
  • Employment rates continued to grow for a 50th successive month, although it was modest and the weakest since last July;
  • Input costs continued to rise sharply, and the rate of input price inflation remained above the UK average - firms complained higher cost of raw materials hurt their margins, and many experienced higher fuel and wage bills;
  • In response to increased input costs, companies raised their output charges for a 17th successive month - the rate of output price inflation was solid and in line with the UK average.

IT posts 'major economic boost'
06 Jun 07 |  Northern Ireland
Construction 'driving NI economy'
16 Apr 07 |  Northern Ireland
Bank report on NI 'business boom'
12 Feb 07 |  Northern Ireland
Happy new year for local economy
15 Jan 07 |  Northern Ireland
South already has big NI stake
03 Nov 06 |  Northern Ireland

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