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Latest Economic Report confirms confident outlook 25 November 2005

    The overall picture for business on the Island is positive with a confident outlook for the future, according to the Government’s latest quarterly report on the economy.

    The report to the Council of Ministers shows:

    • Bank deposits up £4.8 billion in 12 months to a total of £33.89 billion
    • Funds under management in collective investment schemes up 41% in the same period
    • 3013 job vacancies reported in the first half of 2005 compared to 2039 in the second half of 2004

    Economic growth is currently estimated to be running at around 5-6% p.a. and helping keep unemployment at below the 1.5% level it has enjoyed now for some 7 years. Meanwhile inflationary pressures appear to be subsiding. The annual inflation rate at the end of the quarter stood at 3.2%, well down on the peak of 6.4% at the end of 2004 and expected to remain between 3% and 4% for the immediate future.

    The report confirms that the economy is generally achieving solid growth, with exceptional growth and prospects in some sectors, including e-commerce.

    Treasury Minister Allan Bell MHK commented:

    “The latest figures show that, despite the recent announcement of job losses by one company, the underlying trend in the Island’s economy is strongly positive, with a confident outlook across the sectors. This is confirmed by ongoing feedback to Government from various businesses.”

    The Minister continued:

    “It is in the nature of economic progress that competitive pressures and technological advances mean that we can always expect to lose some jobs, some companies, some activities, as we develop over time. This is the same the world over.
    “What we have to ensure is that we remain attractive, and enhance our attractiveness, as a location for inward investment in activities that will create new jobs and generate future incomes. With exciting developments in a number of areas of the economy such as fund management, space, and e-business and with strong order books in many parts of the manufacturing sector, we are currently achieving this.
    “But we must be forever searching for ways and means for further improvements, be it through ongoing training and retraining of our workforce, the introduction of dynamic commercial legislation, the adjustment of the regulatory burden or through taxation reform. We can never stand still.”

    The fluidity of the labour market and the economy’s ability to generate job opportunities is evidenced in the report which reveals some 300 new jobs created in the last year and a total of over 1,500 job vacancies recorded at the DTI Job Centre over the last three months alone. As a consequence only 20% of individuals currently on the Unemployment Register have been unemployed for longer than 6 months and fewer than 10% for over a year.

    For further information please contact:-

    Stephen Carse
    Economic Adviser,
    The Treasury
    Illiam Dhone House
    Circular Road
    Tel: 685741

    Copies of the quarterly economic report are available from:-

    Alistair Ramsay
    Chief Secretary’s Office,
    Government Office
    Bucks Road
    Douglas IM1 3PG
    Tel: 686243

    25th November 2005

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