Top economist says city to have a mixed 2016

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A top economist says local political uncertainty and the potential for BREXIT could affect investment in Londonderry and warns that two of the North West’s biggest employers - the agri-food and public sectors - are bound for further contraction in 2016.

But Angela McGowan, Chief Economist at Danske Bank, says growth of 2 per cent in 2015 and 2.2 per cent in 2016 will lead to a moderate rise in employment levels.

“As the new super-council for Derry and Strabane gets to grips with its increased powers for economic development it will soon start designing a carefully tailored economic and industrial plan that chimes in with Northern Ireland’s overarching Economic Strategy.

“It is unlikely that the economic fortunes in the North West will be dramatcially different from the rest of Northern Ireland in the short-term.

“However, by addressing barriers to growth as soon as possible, this region will be in a better position to tackle its relatively high unemployment rate and higher than average inactivity rate.”