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Dr John Esmond Birnie, is an author, economist, and Ulster Unionist Party politician. He is a former Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly (MLA) for South Belfast.
After attending Ballymena Primary School and Ballymena Academy, Birnie became a graduate of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge in Economics. He completed a PhD in Economics at Queens University Belfast before becoming a senior lecturer.
He has appeared as an expert economics witness in the House of Commons and is a leading critic of the euro.
He was an unsuccessful Conservative Party candidate in the elections to Belfast City Council for Balmoral in the 1993 Northern Ireland Local Election. In the 2005 Northern Ireland Local Election, he stood again for Balmoral, this time for the Ulster Unionist Party and failed to get elected by 0.95 votes on the final count. Birnie was also second on the Conservative regional list for the 1996 Forum Election, but was not elected as the party was 12th most popular in electoral support, and only the top 10 parties were eligible for two top up seats.
He was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly in 1998. During the Assembly he was Chairman of the Assembly's Employment and Learning Committee. He retained his seat in 2003 but lost it in the 2007 elections. He was then employed as a special advisor to Employment and Learning Minister, ... » Read more on Wikipedia.org

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2015
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2014
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Northern Ireland's recovery lagging behind rest of UK
2014-03-20
However, PwC economist Esmond Birnie said the jobs data offer a fillip for the Northern Ireland economy, particularly an growth in employment in the manufacturing and services sectors. "Collectively the employment and output data strongly supports our ...
(Belfast Telegraph)
  1. Budget: Signs Northern Ireland faces fraught finances in future
  2. Chancellor slashes Northern Ireland's slice of the pie

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PwC: Northern Ireland's poorest '£1000 a year worse off'
2014-03-11
Esmond Birnie from PwC said there is evidence Northern Ireland has been "disproportionally impacted by high energy prices". 'Slower rate'. More people are in fuel poverty in Northern Ireland than other parts of the UK. According to the report, the ...
(BBC News)
  1. NI Poorest 'Suffered Most' During Downturn

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More robust growth still needed with export trade
2014-02-19
Home› Business› Business Opinion›. More robust growth still needed with export trade. Comments. Email; Print; Font Size. By Dr Esmond Birnie – 19 February 2014. This is the seventh successive monthly fall in inflation and reflected some very aggressive ...
(Belfast Telegraph)
  1. Inflation rate falls below 2% for first time since 2009

2013
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PwC: NI economy set to grow at fastest rate since 2007
2013-11-28
PwC's chief economist in NI, Esmond Birnie, said: "Compared to the past four years, there is a distinct whiff of recovery in the air." In August, the Bank of England said it would not consider raising interest rates until the UK's unemployment rate hit 7%.
(BBC News)
  1. Northern Ireland's economy finally showing signs of sparking into life

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Value of wages 'drops for sixth year'
2013-11-07
Dr Esmond Birnie, PWC's chief economist in NI, said: "Looking ahead, we don't expect positive real earnings growth to resume until 2015 and even then only at a modest pace; with consumer spending projected to grow by around 2% in 2013 and around ...
(U.TV)
  1. NI workers face drop in value of wages for sixth year

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PwC: NI house prices may take decade to recover from crash
2013-08-14
Its Northern Ireland chief economist, Dr Esmond Birnie, said it could be 2025 before prices again reach 2007 levels. His analysis comes as another house price survey has suggested the troubled NI housing market is stabilising. The University of Ulster ...
(BBC News)
  1. Northern Ireland's economy 'in slow recovery'
  2. Property market in the North will take 12 years to revover, economists claim

2012
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Inflation and price hikes hit festive shoppers
2012-12-19
Dr Esmond Birnie, PwC chief economist in Belfast, said inflation had remained above the Bank's 2% target for more than three years and, until May 2012, had not fallen below 3% for 29 months. "There is still little sign of inflation moving towards the ...
(Belfast Telegraph)
  1. Inflation respite 'only brief'

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Northern Ireland unemployment figures stand at 8.2%
2012-09-12
Dr Esmond Birnie, PricewaterhouseCooper's (PwC) chief economist in Northern Ireland said that, despite unemployment creeping up, some new employment was being created. "In the last quarter Northern Ireland created around 2,000 new employee jobs, ...
(BBC News)
  1. NI Unemployment Rate Creeps Above UK Average

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NI private sector jobs fall by 11000
2012-08-07
Dr Esmond Birnie, chief economist at PwC in Northern Ireland, said: "The problem is that ... our historic reliance on steady public spending growth means that Westminster's austerity programme is hampering the Northern Ireland Executive's ability to ...
(Knowledge to Action)
  1. PwC Economic Outlook finds NI lost 11000 jobs in two years
  2. Thousands Of Jobs Disappear In NI Private Sector
  3. North's economy facing 'serious problems'

2011
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Osborne's Autumn cash boost welcomed
2011-11-30
PricewaterhouseCooper chief economist Dr Esmond Birnie said that while Northern Ireland has been promised around £140m over the next three years, the Executive may not get all the cash. "Under the Barnett Formula, Northern Ireland should get around ...
(Belfast Telegraph)
  1. NI to receive extra £134m for public services

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Rise in elderly population and spiralling costs 'pushing care system to ...
2011-11-21
Dr Esmond Birnie, PwC chief economist in Northern Ireland, said the provision of care is “falling behind” and the situation can't continue. He stated: “Around £440m of public funding was devoted to the social care system for older people in Northern ...
(Belfast Telegraph)
  1. Elderly face cost of 'broken' care system

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PWC predicts NI growth 'elusive'
2011-11-15
PwC's chief economist Dr Esmond Birnie says external factors and reduced public spending are having an adverse effect on the local private sector. Dr Birnie says confidence remains low driven by global and domestic issues. He claims uncertainty in the ...
(Irish Times)
  1. Gloomy report cuts economic growth outlook for Northern Ireland
  2. More gloomy news for NI economy