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News : UK Economy Last Updated: Aug 12, 2013 - 8:50 AM


Northern Ireland PMI rose in July for first time since 2007
By Finfacts Team
Aug 12, 2013 - 7:20 AM

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Richard Ramsey, chief economist Northern Ireland, Ulster Bank

Northern Ireland business activity in July rose to the highest level since 2007, aided by the recent heatwave and a surge in activity in England and Scotland according to regional PMI (purchasing managers' index) data..

The Ulster Bank Northern Ireland PMI for July showed the first rise in staffing levels for six months following an increase in orders.

Increases in output were led by manufacturing and growth of new business accelerated to the strongest since August 2007.

Richard Ramsey, chief economist for Ulster Bank in Northern Ireland, said that there had been an economic as well as a literal heatwave in July.

"Last week marked the sixth anniversary of the official start of the credit crunch," he said. "During the 71 months that have elapsed since then, the Northern Ireland PMI has been a reliable, albeit gloomy, barometer of economic conditions for local firms.

"Positives, as far as the PMI is concerned, had been in short supply over this period. However, the July 2013 survey is littered with positives. "Business activity, new orders, exports and employment all increased in July. Overall, almost one-third of firms surveyed reported a rise in activity last month."

Lloyds TSB’s regional purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for July implied the fastest-paced business growth in at least 12 years, with growth in every region of the country.

The bank’s survey recorded a score of 60, up 4.2 points from June. Anything above 50 indicates business expansion. Growth was strongest in the north west, which hit the highest level since the survey began, followed by London, at a 40-month high. However, every region recorded an improvement on the previous month.

Lloyds TSB’s regional purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for July implied the fastest-paced business growth in at least 12 years, with growth in every region of the country.

The bank’s survey recorded a score of 60, up 4.2 points from June. Anything above 50 indicates business expansion. Growth was strongest in the north west, which hit the highest level since the survey began, followed by London, at a 40-month high. However, every region recorded an improvement on the previous month.

 Lloyds TSB’s PMI in July for England and Wales suggested the fastest-paced business growth in at least 12 years, with growth in every region of the country.

The bank’s survey had PMI of 60, up 4.2 points from June. Above 50 signals business expansion. Growth was strongest in the north west, which hit the highest level since the survey began, followed by London, at a 40-month high. However, every region recorded an improvement on the previous month.

A further strong expansion in Scottish private sector business activity was indicated by latest PMI data from Bank of Scotland, with output levels driven up by a fresh survey-record rise in new business intakes. Job creation continued into the third quarter but, as with output, at a slightly reduced pace. An added sign of strength in the economy was a solid rise in average output prices, the sharpest in two years, with firms meanwhile facing the same rate of cost inflation as in June.

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