NI Composite Economic Index

The NICEI is an experimental quarterly measure of the performance of the NI economy based on available official statistics.

Headline results

Latest results - published 13 January 2021:

  • The NICEI indicates that economic output increased by 1.5% over the quarter to September 2021.  Meanwhile economic output in the year to September 2021 increased by 4.6% in real terms compared to the same period in the previous year i.e. Quarter 3 2020.
  • Where annual growth in the NICEI appears particularly strong, it is important to recognise there has been some volatility in the NICEI during the COVID pandemic.  As lockdown measures were introduced to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and subsequently eased, this lead to the NICEI falling to a series low in Q2 2020, followed by the highest quarterly increase in the NICEI to Q3 2020.
  • As a result, it is perhaps worth considering biennial change which compares the change between Quarter 3 2021 and Quarter 3 2019 (the previous Quarter 3 before the pandemic).  In terms of biennial change, NI economic output has increased at a flatter rate (3.0%) compared to the annual change (4.6%) in the NICEI to Q3 2021.  Furthermore, in Quarter 3 2021, NI Economic Output reached a 13 year high, returning to levels of economic output last exceeded in Q3 2008.
  • Although the measures are not produced on a fully equivalent basis, comparisons with the UK show that NI Economic Activity increased at a faster rate than UK GDP over the quarter (1.5% vs 1.1%), biennially (i.e. over 2 years, 3.0% vs -1.6%) and the rolling annual average (5.8% vs 3.8%).  However UK GDP grew at a faster rate than the NICEI over the year (4.6% for NI and 6.8% for the UK). 
  • Private sector output as measured by the NICEI increased over the quarter (1.7%), over the year (5.4%) and on a biennial basis (3.1%). Meanwhile, the NICEI Public Sector index increased over the quarter (0.8%), over the year (2.0%) and on a biennial basis (2.9%).

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Contacts for NI Composite Economic Index

Composite Economic Index

David Leonard
Tel: 028 9052 9385
Twitter: @NISRA