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Northern Ireland economy declines

Northern Ireland’s economy registered its biggest decline for three months in October, with its construction sector among the hardest hit.

The latest Ulster Bank study showed that Northern Ireland endured the quickest drop in new orders out of all UK regions in the last 20 months. Experts revealed that construction firms saw their fastest decline since March 2009, despite the UK construction industry continuing to expand.

The bank’s chief economist for NI, Richard Ramsey, described how the country is lagging behind the rest of the UK, as the UK posted its strongest growth for three months.

“This highlights that the two economies continue to move in opposite directions,” he said.

“To date, there has been only one month during the last 35 months when Northern Ireland firms have not posted a fall in business output.”

Manufacturing was the only sector in Northern Ireland that managed to grow during the period, according to Mr Ramsey.