“a strong performance.. despite frequently difficult trading conditions”

According to the provisional statistics on the NI economy in 2004, contained in this Northern Ireland Annual Business Inquiry report[pdf file] – “In 2004 the total value of sales and work completed (Turnover) by Northern Ireland based companies and organisations was £45,228 million, an increase of 5.9% on the figure for 2003 at basic prices (i.e. without adjustment for factors such as inflation).” The report excludes the central government public sector. The Press Association got some quotes from NIO Minister Angela Smith.. although the DETI website has only the briefest mention of the report.. Has Peter Hain seen this?Other headline figures –

• In 2004 the total value of sales and work completed (Turnover) by Northern Ireland based companies and organisations was £45,228 million, an increase of 5.9% on the figure for 2003 at basic prices1 (i.e. without adjustment for factors such as inflation).

• The total value of businesses’ income once expenditure on external goods and services has been accounted for was £13,556 million at basic prices (approximate Gross Value Added (GVA)), an increase of 6.4% on the figure for 2003.

• The Service sector accounted for some 57.7% of GVA in organisations covered by the survey and was worth £7,820 million in 2004, up £761 million (10.8%) on 2003.

• Manufacturing GVA increased by £110 million (3.0%) compared to the previous year and was worth £3,780 million in 2004 (27.9% of GVA).

• Payments for employees accounted for some 52.8% of Gross Value Added and were worth £7,154 million within the economy, an increase of 6.0% from 2003.

From the PA report

Enterprise Minister Angela Smith, welcoming the figures, said: “The value of Northern Ireland business GVA was £13.6bn in 20004, an increase of some 6.4% over the year.

“This is a strong performance and shows the potential the private sector has to grow the Northern Ireland economy, despite frequently difficult trading conditions.”