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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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Property market recovery 'could take years'
2014-07-09
Dr Esmond Birnie, PwC's chief economist for NI, said: "Our nominal property price projections for the UK and its regions suggest that it could be at least 2024 before Northern Ireland property prices return to their pre-crisis levels. "Interest rates ...
(U.TV)

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    Family inflation boost as shops launch price wars
    2014-06-18
    PwC chief economist Dr Esmond Birnie said everyday goods were coming down in price – but real earnings growth was still far off as inflation was still above the 0.7% rate of wage increases. "Food and non-alcoholic beverages fell by 0.6% year-on-year in ...
    (Belfast Telegraph)
    1. Now there is more money in our pockets...

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    PwC's note of caution over uneven recovery
    2014-04-30
    But Dr Esmond Birnie, PwC's chief economist in Northern Ireland, said the future may not be so rosy and that Northern Ireland's forecasts were behind. "Consumer confidence is at a five-year high and there is a general sense of optimism in the local ...
    (Belfast Telegraph)
    1. PwC: NI economy still lagging in growth compared to other UK regions
    2. Report predicts modest growth for NI

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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

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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

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