Broad Economy Sales and Exports Statistics

The BESES is an experimental annual measure of local businesses’ sales to markets outside Northern Ireland.

Estimates of the number of businesses selling to markets outside NI are also presented. The latest estimates remain designated as ‘experimental’ to reflect the fact that they are under development.

Northern Ireland Broad Economy Sales and Exports Statistics, Goods and Services 2017 - published 22 March 2019

Headline Results – Good and Services

  • Total sales by companies in Northern Ireland (NI) were estimated to be worth £66.6 billion in 2017, a decrease of 1.7% (£1.1 billion) over the year.
  • Total sales of goods were estimated to be worth £45.8 billion in 2017, a decrease of 5.8% (£2.8 billion) over the year
  • Sales of services represented 31.3% of total sales in 2017 and were estimated to be worth £20.8 billion. Sales of services increased by 8.9% over the year (£1.7 billion).
  • External sales to markets outside of NI fell by £2.4 billion (10.1%) to £21.4 billion in 2017. These were driven by a substantial decline in the Food, Beverages and Tobacco sub sector.
  • External sales of goods by NI companies were estimated to be worth £15.7 billion in 2017, 73.1% of all external sales. This represents a decrease of 15.2% over the year (£2.8 billion).
  • External sales of services were estimated to be worth £5.8 billion or 26.9% of all external sales in 2017. This represents an increase of 7.7% (£0.4 billion) over the year.
  • Exports were estimated to be worth £10.1 billion in 2017, an increase of 4.8% (£0.5 billion) over the year.
  • Exports of goods were estimated to be worth £8.1 billion in 2017, an increase of 3.5% (£0.3 billion). Exports of goods represented 79.9% of all exports sales.
  • Exports of services represented 20.1% of total export sales in 2017 and were estimated to be worth £2.0 billion. Exports of services increased by 10.7% (£0.2 billion) over the year.

Draft Programme for Government

The annual rate of external sellers (i.e. the proportion of all survey-eligible businesses that sell outside NI), has been selected as an indicator in the draft Programme for Government (PfG) Framework and NICS Outcome Delivery Plan 2018/19. It is used alongside a number of other indicators to inform progress against Outcome 1, prospering through a strong, competitive, regionally balanced economy.

The external sales rate (ie; the proportion of all survey-eligible businesses that sell outside NI) increased from 22.9% in 2015 to 24.8% in 2017.

https://www.nisra.gov.uk/statistics/programme-government

Current publications and tables

EU Exit analysis

Comparison with HMRC Regional Trade Statistics

BESES estimates are not directly comparable with HMRC Regional Trade Statistics due to methodological differences.

Background information

Archive data

Mailing list

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