The global economy continues to perform strongly with the IMF pencilling in GDP growth of 3.6% in 2017 and 3.7% in 2018. Inevitably this is having an influence on monetary policy. The US Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the fifth time at its December meeting. Meanwhile the ECB recently announced the halving of its monthly bond-buying programme and the Bank of England raised rates for the first time in 10 years in October. Nonetheless monetary policy remains very accommodative by historical standards and, at a global level, low interest rates are continuing to drive a weight of money into equities and property.
According to recent research from EY the Northern Ireland economy has expanded by approximately 1.4% in 2017. Economic activity has been held back both by the suspension of devolved government and by Brexit. The immediate impact of Brexit has been a weaker Pound which is creating a competitiveness challenge for the trading economy. At the same time weak Sterling has led to imported inflation which is undermining the benefit of a 1.5% per annum increase in nominal earnings.
Source : Savills