Annual Business Inquiry

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


Latest Reporting Unit results – published 21 November 2018.

Headline results

  • Turnover, defined as the value of total sales and work done by businesses in Northern Ireland, was estimated to be worth £66,603 million in 2017 (excluding VAT): a decrease of 1.7% compared to 2016.
  • Purchases of goods, materials, energy, water and services was estimated to be £44,302 million in 2017: an increase of 3.2% compared to 2016.
  • Approximate Gross Value Added (aGVA) was estimated to be £21,951 million in 2017. aGVA, which is a measure of the value of economic activity generated by businesses, increased by 0.6% (£126 million) over the year.
  • The key contributor to the 2017 aGVA growth was the NI non-financial services sector with an increase of 4.9% (£388 million) between 2016 and 2017.
  • The retail and wholesale trade (distribution sector) recorded aGVA growth of £102 million (2.1%) and the construction sector grew by £29 million (1.3%).
  • The only sector to record a decline in aGVA growth was the production sector, decreasing by £420 million (-6.4%) from £6.55 billion to £6.13 billion.

Current publication and tables 


Practice T3.6 of the Code of Practice for Statistics requires: Statistics should be released to all users at 9:30am on a weekday.

The release of the ABI 2017 Local Unit statistical report and associated tables was delayed past the required 09:30 time on 27 June 2019.

This breach will be reported to the National Statistician and the report is published here.

NI ABI Questionnaire

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