The Island's economy performed strongly over the first half of the fiscal year. And while it has since slowed, the drop has not been 'catastrophic', according to a Council of Ministers quarterly report.

The jobless total is below 2.5 per cent, which compares with a UK rate of 6.7 per cent and EU average of 7.6 per cent. Most losses have been in service areas, such as hospitality and retailing, rather than prime drivers of the economy like exporting sectors.

The strongest outlook is from the online gaming sector - but it is not alone in its optimistic perspective, with space commerce, shipping, aircraft registration and aerospace engineering amongst activities where business is doing well. Company and Trust Service Providers have also indicated good results in the year.

The Island's mature life industry is seeing business continuing to come in from alternative markets, particularly the Middle and Far East. Historically the majority of business was UK based but ongoing diversification into other geographic areas and new products will help to spread market risk, the report points out.

The Isle of Man has a significant profile in the Middle East, Far East and Africa as a jurisdiction of choice for company pension schemes. A number of blue chip companies are basing their schemes here and the report expects this business will continue to grow.

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