NI Economic Accounts Overview

In May 2018, NISRA produced a set of Supply and Use tables (SUTs) for the reference year 2014 and 2015. 

Revised results from the Economic Accounts Project published on the 31 May 2018 can be found in the bulletin below.

Economic Accounts Project – 2014 and 2015 experimental results

It is hoped that this paper will provide users with a number of indicators relating to the structure and inter-industry relationships of the NI economy to aid economic analysis and decision making.

A modern open economy like that of Northern Ireland engages in four basic economic activities:

  • Production involves industries producing goods and services;
  • Consumption represents purchases of goods and services by both industries and domestic final users comprising mainly households, and Central and Local Government;
  • Investment includes the accumulation all capital transactions such as fixed investment expenditure and changes in the level of stocks; and
  • Trade is the total value of external sales minus imports.

Measurement of these four activities is captured in the framework of the SUTs. In addition to the calculation of a balanced GDP the SUTs provide detailed data on the supply and use of commodities, inter-industry flows and the structure of the economy.

The Input-Output Tables (IOTs) are derived from the SUTs. These tables provide a framework for modelling the impacts of changes to the domestic economy and are the pre-requisite for calculating a range of derived data such as multipliers used for economic planning, analysis and forecasting.

A glossary of key elements used in the economic accounts can be found here.

Supply and Use Tables

The Supply and Use tables (SUTs) provide a picture of the flows of products and services in the economy for a single year and are used to set the level of annual current price Gross Domestic Product (GDP). They show the composition of uses and resources across institutional sectors and the inter-dependence of industries in order to reconcile the production, income and expenditure approaches to the measurement of GDP.

Next steps and Further information

Experimental statistics

The statistics will remain classified as experimental statistics until user feedback indicates that they are useful and credible. The quality of the current statistics is restricted because of the lack of up to date information on purchases made by businesses for use as part of their production process. It is hoped that new purchases data will be available in 2019. 

Next steps

NISRA is making these experimental statistics available so that users and stakeholders can be involved in their development. NISRA has engaged extensively throughout the project with expert users of NI economic statistics whose views have helped shape the development of the SUTs. Users include Department for the Economy, Department of Finance, and Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs economists, the Ulster University Economic Policy Centre and a number of NI economic commentators and consultants.

NISRA hope to receive informed feedback which will improve the quality and value of the statistics. In addition, this release is to help users become aware of the work undertaken by NISRA in the continued development of the Supply and Use framework for Northern Ireland.  

NISRA plan to investigate the potential to develop consistent employment numbers to enable the development of employment multipliers.  

NISRA plans to have these statistics assessed against the Code of Practice for Official Statistics which is required to gain National Statistics status. It is likely that the statistics will not be put forward for assessment until the new purchasing data is incorporated.


Background documentation is available to download including:

Further Information

Suzanne Bradley
Tel: 028 9052 9505