Northern Ireland economy '5% below 2007 crash level'

Cash
Cash

Northern Ireland's economy is worth 5% less than before the crash in 2007, official research has revealed.

The UK as a whole has had a shorter downturn and a faster recovery while the Republic of Ireland has also outstripped its northern neighbour.

However economic output increased by 2% over the last three months of 2016, despite the referendum vote to leave the EU.

The Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency report said: "Despite this positive performance, the Northern Ireland Composite Economic Index is currently 5.1% below the maximum value recorded in quarter two 2007.

"In quarter three 2016, UK GDP was estimated to have been 8.5% higher than its pre-economic downturn peak of quarter 1 2008."

The report said when the trend in the index was considered over the last three years there was some evidence that the rate of growth had increased.

It said the improvement was driven by increases in the services, production and construction sector as well as a boost in the number of public sector jobs.