Backlogs of work signal employment growth

The construction industry is the driving force of the Northern Ireland economy according to a report by Ulster Bank. The study found that although economic growth has slowed a little in the last month, a further increase in employment was predicted, particularly in the building trade as firms win new contracts.


Chief economist at Ulster Bank Pat McArdle commented: "Interestingly, backlogs of work are still growing, whereas they are contracting in the UK, an indication that employment growth is likely to remain strong, at least in construction where the bulk of the backlogs exist."

McArdle added that construction is more then ever the driving force with retail and manufacturing easing. "Input cost inflation remains a problem but the gap between costs and prices charged has levelled off in recent months, easing the squeeze on profit margins," he said.