Annual Business Inquiry

Details on the conduct and results of the Northern Ireland Annual Business Inquiry.



Headline results

Latest Local Unit results – published 30 July 2021.

  • In 2019, the income generated by non-financial businesses in Northern Ireland (NI), less the cost of goods and services used to create this income, was estimated to be £26.2 billion. This amount represents the approximate Gross Value Added (aGVA) at basic prices of the NI non- financial business economy, excluding farming, financial services and the public sector.
  • aGVA at Basic prices represents the income generated by businesses, out of which is paid wages and salaries, the cost of capital investment and financial charges before arriving at a figure for profit.
  • In terms of the profile of aGVA across the economy, Figure 1 overleaf shows that the Service sector represents the largest share of aGVA (39.8%) followed by the Distribution (Wholesale & retail trade) and Production sectors (24.2% and 24.1% respectively). The Construction sector accounts for 11.6% of aGVA.

Change between 2018-19

  • The NI non-financial business economy, as measured by the Northern Ireland Annual Business Inquiry, recorded an increase of £2.1 billion (8.6%) in aGVA from 2018 to 2019.
  • The key driver of aGVA growth was in the NI non-financial services sector which increased by £1.0 billion (11.2%) between 2018 and 2019. The majority of aGVA growth in this sector is attributable to the Information and communication services section which increased by £353 million (24.5%).
  • Wholesale and retail trade within the distribution sector recorded aGVA growth of £638 million (11.2%).
  • The Construction sector recorded an increase in aGVA of £297 million (10.8%).
  • The Production sector (which includes Mining and quarrying: Manufacturing; Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply; and Water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation activities) saw an increase in aGVA, increasing by £99million (1.6%) from £6.2 billion to £6.3 billion. This was despite a decrease in aGVA in the Manufacturing section which saw a decrease of £238 million (5.0%).
  • Turnover (i.e. the value of total sales and work done) in the NI non-financial business economy as a whole increased by £3.3 billion (4.7%) over the year and purchases of goods, materials, energy, water and services increased by £0.9 billion (1.9%).

Current publication and tables 

NI ABI Questionnaire

For details of changes to the NI Annual Business Inquiry questionnaire for survey year 2014 please see the link below:

NI ABI Questionnaire Guidance Notes

For guidance notes to assit in completing the Annual Business Inquiry questionnaire please follow the link below:

Usage, methods & quality and revisions policy

Archive data

Related statistics

ABI background information

Explanations of methodology and detailed descriptions of terminology

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ABI sample coverage

Details of Annual Business Inquiry sample coverage.

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