Northern Ireland Economic Trade Statistics Quick Reference Guide
Current publications and tables
Today’s publication marks the first time that the publication is released in HTML format only, produced using Reproducible Analytical Pipeline (RAP) guidelines. The content and format of the report and tables have changed to make them more user friendly and interactive, enhancing accessibility, and increasing the level of automation in their production.
- Northern Ireland Economic Trade Statistics results 2021
- Northern Ireland Economic Trade Statistics 2021 crib sheet
- Previous Broad Economy Sales and Exports publications and methodology paper
In addition and reflecting the considerable volume of trade data being disseminated via this release, the NIETS data will now be available via the new NISRA data portal, which has been designed to enhance the user experience (as described below) and remove the need for Excel tables.
The Data Portal will give users the flexibility to slice and dice datasets, run meta-data searches, filter results, plot interactive charts, visualise data over interactive maps, share results and automate processes by reading data via API queries. The outputs follow the Open Data recommendations by providing access to multiple data formats (CSV, JSON-stat, PX, and XLSX).
The latest publication provides results relating to the sales and purchases of local businesses’ during 2021 to markets both within and outside Northern Ireland and disaggregates these results into the value of goods and services sold and purchased.
- In 2021, total sales by companies in Northern Ireland (NI) were estimated to be worth £77.1 billion.
- Sales within NI amounted to £52.1 billion, accounting for 67.6% of total sales.
- The remainder of sales were fairly evenly split between those to GB (£12.8 billion) and sales to markets outside the UK (i.e., exports) of £12.2 billion, accounting for 16.6% and 15.8% of total sales respectively in 2021.
- Total sales of goods were estimated to be worth £51.3 billion in 2021, an increase of 13.8% (£6.2 billion) over the year. Total goods represented 66.6% of total sales in 2021.
- Sales of services represented 33.4% of total sales in 2021 and were estimated to be worth £25.8 billion. Sales of services increased by 13.3% over the year (£3.0 billion).
- Exports of goods were estimated to be worth £9.2 billion in 2021, an increase of 13.7% (£1.1 billion). Exports of goods represented 75.8% of all exports sales.
- Exports of services represented 24.2% of all export sales in 2021 and were estimated to be worth £3.0 billion. Exports of services increased by 23.6% (£0.6 billion) over the year.
- Total purchases by NI businesses were estimated to be £48.7 billion in 2021, with the purchase of goods accounting for 79.6% of this amount (£38.8 billion). Purchases of goods increased by 13.6% (£4.6 billion) over the year.
- The purchases of services represented 20.4% of total purchases in 2021 and were estimated to be worth £9.9 billion and remained static over the year.
- In terms of the balance of trade, NI businesses exported more goods and services (£12.2 billion) than it imported (£7.7 billion), resulting in a trade surplus of £4.5 billion. The reverse was the case with our trade with GB, with purchases exceeding sales (£14.4 billion and £12.8 billion respectively), resulting in a trade deficit of £1.7 billion.
- The COVID-19 pandemic had a major impact on the economy during 2020, due to (i) lockdown measures being introduced to mitigate its spread and (ii) prolonged periods of business closures. This should be borne in mind when considering the change in trade estimates between 2020 and 2021. When the figures are viewed in the broader picture of trends observed over the past number of years, the 2021 figures broadly align with what might reasonably have been expected were it not for the impact of the pandemic in 2020.
Current publications and tables
EU Exit analysis
Comparison with HMRC Regional Trade Statistics
NIETS estimates are not directly comparable with HMRC Regional Trade Statistics due to methodological differences.
- Background information for Northern Ireland Economic Trade Statistics
- Statistical protocols and compliance
Usage, methods & quality and revisions policy
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