Broad Economy Sales and Exports Statistics

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

This BESES publication was originally scheduled for December 2020. However it was necessary to extend the data collection period, and subsequently delay publication, in light of the current economic climate and pressures being faced by local businesses resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. See the COVID-19 and the production of statistics page for more information. The publication dates for the Goods and Services and Imports publications have similarly been delayed until Summer 2021 and Autumn 2021 respectively.

NISRA published its Broad Economy Sales and Exports Statistics (BESES) results relating to local businesses’ sales in 2019 to markets outside Northern Ireland (NI). All values are in current prices and relate to the sales of both goods and services.

Northern Ireland Broad Economy Sales and Exports Statistics: 2019 - published 28 April 2021.

Headline Results 

  • Total sales by companies in Northern Ireland (NI) were estimated to be worth £71.9 billion in 2019, an increase of 4.6% (£3.2 billion) over the calendar year.
  • Sales within NI increased by £2.4 billion to £48.9 billion, up 5.2% over the year and are at the highest level since the survey commenced in 2011.
  • Sales to Great Britain (GB) increased by £0.7 billion to £11.3 billion, up 6.6% over the year. GB remained the most significant single market for external sales from Northern Ireland. 
  • Sales to markets outside the UK (exports) increased by £45 million (0.4%) over the year, to £11.7 billion.
  • Sales to all markets outside NI (external sales) i.e. GB sales plus exports, increased by £745 million (3.3%) to £23.0 billion, and accounted for almost a third of total sales in 2019 (32.0%).
  • Exports to Ireland (IE) increased by £404 million (9.9%) over the year, to £4.5 billion. IE remains our single largest export market.
  • Exports to the Rest of the EU (EU, excluding IE) decreased over the year by £299 million (11.0%) to £2.4 billion. Exports to the Rest of the World (ROW) decreased by £60 million (1.2%) over the year, to £4.8 billion.
  • Trade estimates split by District Council Area were produced for the first time in the 2018 publication and continue to be provided in this publication to allow users to provide feedback.

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 27.9% in 2019.

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

Usage, methods & quality and revisions policy

Archive data

Mailing list

If you would like to be added to a mailing list and receive the latest publications on the day they publish please email: economicstats@nisra.gov.uk with the title of the publications you would like to receive.

 

Related statistics

Manufacturing Sales and Exports Survey

The annual NI MSES provides information on the value of sales and exports generated by all businesses classified within the manufacturing industry in NI. 

Read more

Exporting Northern Ireland Services

Based on information collected via the ITIS and supplemented with information from MSES and NIABI.

Read more