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Word Count: 551
THE ECONOMY OF NORTHERN IRELAND Finance Industry Trade Agriculture Employment Economy Finance Industry and Trade -Northern Ireland is currently enjoying a period of economic growth -output and employment rising and unemployment falling -GDP per head in Northern Ireland increased almost by 58 this compares with a 499 increase in the UK as a whole but still remains lower than the rest of the UK -In 1997 average gross weekly earnings in Northern Ireland were 31970 compared to 37220 in England -Manufacturing output in Northern Ireland has increased significantly over the past 5 years and at a faster rate of growth than that of the UK as a whole -Industrial production in Northern Ireland increased in the 5 years between 1991-1996 by nearly 17 whilst the rest of the UK increased by only 117 -House prices in Northern Ireland are rising at a significantly faster rate than the general UK rate of inflation -Over the past 2 years leading supermarket chains in Britain have made major investments in Northern Ireland and created thousands of new jobs -In 1997-1998 the highest proportion of public expenditure in Northern Ireland 3212 was spent on Social Security and 1125 was spent on law and order -There is a considerable amount of cross-border trade between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland with the Republic being Northern Irelands No 1 export market -However Northern Ireland has experienced a trade deficit with the Republic of Ireland every year since 1981 Agriculture -Agriculture is an important industry in Northern Ireland -It provides employment for almost 60000 people and is worth more than 1 billion per year to the economy
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