Encouraging signs for the final quarter of the year are evident from the foreign investment projects recorded into Northern Ireland during the first three quarters of 2013. Greenfield investment monitor fDi Markets recorded 18 FDI projects into the country in the first nine months of the year, comparable to the past two years when 17 (2012) and 19 (2011) were tracked up until the end of September. These two years both ended with Northern Ireland totalling more than 20 projects, a level which the region is on course to at least match, if not surpass, in 2013.

Some 1750 jobs were created by companies investing in Northern Ireland during the first three quarters of this year. This figure is higher than in the same period in recent years: 1715 jobs were created in 2012 and 1694 in 2011. For the whole of 2012 and 2011, overall job creation stood at 1944 and 2020 jobs, respectively. If that trend were to continue, Northern Ireland could well see an increased overall level of jobs being created. 

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Software and IT services is the dominant sector in Northern Ireland for receiving FDI. By the end of the third quarter of 2013, the region had recorded 10 projects in this sector, accounting for more than half of total tracked FDI so far during 2013. This shows a year-on-year increase in the sector compared with nine projects in 2012 and six in 2011. Other targets for FDI include design, development and testing, business services and customer contact centre functions.