The Northern Ireland PMI (purchasing managers' index) for September shows a sharp increase in activity, which has risen in each of the past 15 months, with panellists linking the latest expansion to higher sales.
The rate of expansion in new business however slowed for the second month running in September and was the weakest since October 2013.
The headline seasonally adjusted Business Activity Index rose to 57.4 in September from 56.7 in August.
Richard Ramsey, chief economist Northern Ireland, Ulster Bank, said today: “Last month, Northern Ireland's private sector posted its fifteenth successive month of expansion in output, export orders and employment. At a sectoral level, manufacturing was the strongest performer, with September contributing
to faster rates of growth in Q3 relative to Q2.
Whilst services also recorded a pick-up in business activity in the month, the third quarter represented the slowest rate of growth during the past four quarters, and order books in the sector expanded at their weakest rate since the recovery began. In the construction sector, rates of growth remain at healthy levels, largely linked to work outside of Northern Ireland, despite an easing in output and new orders during September."