Just 24 hours after Ulster Bank’s PMI report confirmed that the region’s private sector output declined for a seventh consecutive month in November, Danske Bank’s quarterly sectoral forecast paints an equally grim picture of the state of the local economy.
And it believes the current cycle of high inflation, low consumer confidence and tighter monetary policy means the north will definitely experience a recession in 2023.
It comes as the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said it expects the UK economy to remain in recession for five quarters before an anaemic recovery in 2024, though it says inflation may have peaked at 11.1 per cent.
Danske believes the local economy will grow by around 4 per cent this year, something of recovery from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
But it has revised down its previous forecast of a 0.5 per cent annual fall in economic activity in 2023, and now expects output to contract by at least twice that figure.
While these things are a useful barometer of the economy, you can give them too much focus. Northern Ireland is basically at full employment, and the people shortage that is affecting every industry will not go away anyway soon. So this is not going to be like the mass unemployment recessions of the 1970s and 1980s. Many of these issues are global and outside our control. Still, it does no harm to be aware of potential problems down the line.
I help to manage Slugger by taking care of the site as well as running our live events. My background is in business, marketing and IT. My politics tend towards middle-of-the-road pragmatism, I am not a member of any political party. Oddly for a member of the Slugger team, I am not that interested in daily politics, preferring to write about big ideas in society. When not stuck in front of a screen, I am a parkrun Run Director.