Purchasing Managers’ Report deserves positive response- Aiken

Ulster Unionist economy spokesperson, Steve Aiken OBE MLA, has welcomed the suggestion contained in the Ulster Bank Purchasing Managers' Index Survey Report that the Executive should seek a financial stimulus for the Northern Ireland economy.

Steve Aiken said:

“The Ulster Bank Purchasing Manager’s Index survey is essential reading for those who want to understand trends in the local economy.  Whilst the new Economy Minister rightly points out some improved indicators in the Report, which we welcome, he does not address the genuine concerns expressed about our fragile industrial base. The Report is clear; there are underlying structural weaknesses in the Northern Ireland economy, which are simply not being addressed.

“The Chancellor of the Exchequer is talking about a fiscal stimulus; the Scottish Government have announced £100m in extra infrastructure spending this financial year to support jobs in the wake of the EU referendum.  Where is the Northern Ireland Executive in all of this? Why must we in Northern Ireland always play catch up?

“A do nothing approach will see Northern Ireland limping into a recession. Economic modelling shows that Northern Ireland lags around 1% behind Great Britain’s Gross Domestic Product, therefore a drop of UK GDP in the region of 0.4 to 0.6% will, regrettably, put us into negative territory.

“That is why as the Official Opposition, the Ulster Unionist Party is leading the debate and proposing a broad reaching stimulus package in our Vision document.”

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