Business

Why economic forecasting is now harder than ever

Naomi McMullan

IT'S probably one of the most difficult times ever for the economics profession. There is so much unpredictability swirling around. At the moment we don't know what migration policy will look like or what President-elect Donald Trump's talk of trade deals really means.

As Professor Neil Gibson, director of the Ulster University Economic Policy Centre, points out: “ It's almost impossible to come up with an accurate picture of what the next two or three years will hold.

"We're scenario planning for the best case and worst case”.

In today's Profit Margin you can hear why according to their detailed modelling work Professor Gibson thinks inflation could hit 4 per cent and what he believes the future of retail could look like.

We're also talking with Declan Gormley from Brookvent. Seven years ago the Dunmurry based firm had no exports. Now well over 40 per cent of its energy saving ventilation systems are sold overseas.

The company which employs almost seventy has broken into markets as far away as China and New Zealand.

Plus from one exporter to another, did you know that in Cookstown there's a business that's one of the fastest growing roof window manufacturers in Europe and is the UK's biggest steel lintel manufacturer? Eithne Kelly from Keystone explains how they've managed to grow the business.

:: Catch up on these and other interviews in this week's Profit Margin at www.irishnews.com/profitmargin

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