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Business in brief... NI economy


Richard Ramsey, Ulster Bank's Northern Ireland economist

Richard Ramsey, Ulster Bank's Northern Ireland economist

Richard Ramsey, Ulster Bank's Northern Ireland economist

Northern Ireland's private sector reported its fastest rate of growth in business activity and new orders during May in seven months.

The latest Ulster Bank Purchasing Managers' Index for the sector in the north signalled a return to growth for both output and new orders during May, amid reports of improved market conditions.

Firms continued to take on extra staff as a result.

Richard Ramsey of Ulster Bank, said the latest survey offers encouragement after a disappointing start to the year.

Insulin count

Dublin-based Medtronic has received approval to sell a device for diabetes patients that displays insulin levels on internet-enabled devices and sends text messages to loved ones if something goes wrong.

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the company's MiniMed Connect, a small fob that can be carried in a pocket or hooked on a key chain to transmit information wirelessly from an insulin pump or glucose monitor to a smartphone.

The system can send text messages to patients, family members or doctors when something goes awry.

Juice deal

Ulster Bank has signed a significant investment deal worth €2.1m with Meath based McCormack's Family Farm to support its expansion into the raw juice market.

To date, the Meath based second-generation family business has specialised in growing mixed salad, baby leaf, rocket, spinach and a selection of herbs for sale to large retailers. The on-going support from Ulster Bank has allowed McCormack's to grow it's leaf business enabling them to invest in a line of raw juice based health drinks.


Irish Residential Properties REIT (IRES) has completed the acquisition of almost 100 apartments and a crèche in Dublin for just under €20m.

The acquisition of the four block Tyrone Court in Inchicore, Dublin 8 from Tetrarch Capital was funded by the company's €60m credit facility.

Irish Independent