Thursday, January 20, 2005

Sickly North

Economic prospects for the Six Counties are not as bright as those of the Republic:

Underlying problems in the Northern Ireland economy will have to be addressed as British government spending on the public sector slows down, according to a report from the accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

It predicted the economy would grow by about 2.6% this year, slightly ahead of the UK average. However it would also mark a slowdown on last year's estimated growth of about 3.1%.

The 25th annual review of the Northern Ireland economy said high levels of public spending had played a major part in driving unemployment to a record low, but had masked a decline in the North's manufacturing base which had to be faced up to.

With one-in-three Northern Ireland workers employed in the public sector, the authors noted the area had lost proportionately more manufacturing jobs between 2002-4 than any other region in the UK.


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