New analysis of international trade in Ireland and NI suggests trade across the Irish border has become more economically important since Brexit.
The analysis comes from the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
Changes in the recording of trade data since Brexit allow for a more consistent comparison of the trade structures of the two economies.
The limitation of the study is that NI to GB trade is not recorded in the same way as an internal UK sale.
Some earlier studies found that there was less cross-border trade between Ireland and Northern Ireland than economic models suggested there should have been.
However, the study by the ESRI, which is based in Dublin, indicated that position has been reversed since Brexit.
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Goods trade is typically driven by the size of markets and the physical distance between them.
The ESRI study found higher levels of trade integration between Ireland and Northern Ireland “than can be accounted for by these fundamental economic characteristics”.
“This is in contrast to previous research findings on this topic, which showed cross-border trade below levels predicted by similar models, with the different effect likely arising from the sharp increase in cross-border trade since Brexit,” it added.
The study also found a much greater diversity of goods is traded across the border compared to the highly concentrated nature of broader international trade in both economies.
Ireland has a particular concentration of trade in pharmaceuticals.
The chemicals and pharmaceutical sector accounts for 20% of all Irish imports and over 55% of exports.
Source : BBC