Northern Ireland Export Orders Rise at Record Rate
A record rise in new export orders was signaled as companies benefited from Sterling weakness in November, according to data from the Ulster Bank Northern Ireland PMI. The data also showed that the rate of input cost inflation quickened again and companies raised their output prices sharply. Overall the report indicated that the rate of expansion in activity at companies in Northern Ireland accelerated on the back of a return to growth of new business.
The report showed that Retail posted the fastest rise of the four monitored sectors, while growth was also recorded in manufacturing and services. On the other hand, construction activity continued to fall.
New orders rose sharply, ending a four-month sequence of decline. The growth of total new orders was supported by a record rise in new business from abroad. The report also showed that the backlogs of work increased for the first time in seven months amid the sharp rise in new business. Employment rose for the twenty-second successive month, although the rate of job creation was marginal and the slowest since June 2015.
In response to Sterling weaknesses, a number of respondents signaled the passing on of higher input costs to clients. As a result, output prices increased sharply and at the strongest pace since August 2008, and Manufacturing selling prices rose to the greatest extent since the series began in January 2003.