The State of Britain

Staff Writer

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The economies of the devolved nations and London contract the quickest and UK debt exceeds 2 trillion for the first time

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A nowcast for the UK ‘regions’ for the 12 months ended June 2020 on a rolling 4 quarter basis has been published by the Economic Statistic Centre of Excellence (‘ESCoE’).

Over the period the East Midlands was ‘best’ with a fall of 4.5%, with London’s contraction the ‘worst’ at 7.4%; the UK’s decline according to the Office for National Statistics (‘ONS’) figures was 5.3%. Wales contracted by 6.8%, Northern Ireland fell by 6.7% and Scotland declined by 6.1%

ESCoE is a partnership of research institutions and the ONS and has highlighted that during these unprecedented times, there is no historical data that their model can use to fully understand how the pandemic will impact regional economies. Consequently the partnership emphasises the uncertainties that exist with their nowcast at this time.

ONS GDP to December 2019

Official ONS figures for six months earlier, the year to December 2019, which reflects Brexit uncertainty rather than Covid 19 turmoil, show London again topping the table with growth of 5% whilst UK growth over the same period was 0.9%. The West Midlands was again the worst performer and contracted by 2.7%. The North East, Wales, East Midlands and the North West were the other ‘regions’ in the UK to suffer a decline.

In the same report, the ONS’s figures highlighted that the South West of England was top with quarterly growth of 0.8% whilst the North East was bottom, posting a drop of 1.3%.

UK stats

UK GDP fell by 20.4% in the three months to June 2020 although GDP grew by 8.7% in June itself. Over the quarter, services were down by 19.9% (Q1 -2.3%), construction fell by 35% (Q1 -1.7%) and production was down by 16.9% (Q1 -1.5%).  

Household consumption fell by 23.1%, the biggest drop on record. Annually GDP fell by 21.7% which took the size of the economy back to 2003.

According to Eurostat, GDP fell by 12.1% in the euro area and by 11.7% in the EU27 during the second quarter of 2020. This meant that annually GDP fell by 15% in the euro area and by 14.1% in the EU27.

Key European economies came out of lockdown earlier than the UK and are recovering more quickly. Over the quarter the data showed that the German economy fell by 10.1%, France contracted by 13.8%, with Italy shrinking by 12.4%. Annually, Germany contracted by 11.7% and France by 19% with a 17.3% decline recorded in Italy. The Swedish economy contracted by 8.6% over the quarter which meant an annual contraction of 8.6%.

The UK labour market, supported by the Job Retention Scheme, does not yet reflect lockdown and was largely unchanged, with the level of employment falling by 220,000 to 32.92m and the level of unemployment stable at 1.34m or 3.9%.

Vacancies are showing increases in the latest period, driven by smaller businesses, some of which are reporting taking on additional staff to meet COVID-19 guidelines, but the Claimant Count reached 2.7m in July 2020, an increase of 116.8% since March 2020.

The euro area unemployment rate was 7.8% in June 2020, with the EU27 rate at 7.1%. The lowest unemployment rate in June 2020 was 2.6% in the Czech Republic and the highest was 15.6% in Spain.

UK inflation was 1% in July 2020 up from 0.6% in June. Key upward contributions came clothing, rising prices at the petrol pump, and furniture and household goods.

Euro area annual inflation was 0.4% in July, down from 0.3% in June. European Union annual inflation was 0.9% in July 2020, up from 0.8% in June. A year earlier, the Euro area rate was 1%.

The UK public sector deficit in July was £26.7bn, £28.3bn more than in July 2019, the fourth highest borrowing in any month on record (records began in 1993). Debt at the end of July 2020 was £2,004bn which was 100.5% of GDP, an increase of £227.6bn or 20.4% on July 2019; this is the first time debt has exceeded £2 trillion. 

NI’s economy shrinks by 6.8% following lockdown but data for an earlier pre-pandemic period shows an expansion and the unemployment rate still the UK’s best

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A nowcast for Northern Ireland for the 12 months ended June 2020 on a rolling 4 quarter basis, published by the Economic Statistic Centre of Excellence (‘ESCoE’), has estimated that the province’s economy contracted by 6.7%.

This ranked NI ninth in the UK and suggests the province’s economy has so far coped ‘poorer’ with the pandemic relative to the other eleven UK ‘regions’. Over the same period the East Midlands was ‘best’ with a fall of 4.5%, with London’s contraction the ‘worst’ at 7.4%; the UK’s decline according to the Office for National Statistics (‘ONS’) figures was 5.3%.

ESCoE is a partnership of research institutions and the ONS and has highlighted that during these unprecedented times, there is no historical data that their model can use to fully understand how the pandemic will impact regional economies. Consequently the partnership emphasises the uncertainties that exist with their nowcast at this time.

ONS GDP to December 2019

Official ONS figures for an earlier period which reflects Brexit uncertainty rather than Covid 19 turmoil, show the province’s performance relative to other parts of the UK. Following its first publication of quarterly GDP estimates for the regions in September 2019, the ONS has now published its fifth estimate for the nine English regions, and Wales.  GDP figures have been available for the UK since the 1940s, for Scotland since 2002 and Northern Ireland since 2013.

These stats are for the period six months before ESCoE’s estimates shown above and compare GDP in the quarter ended December 2019 with the same quarter a year earlier. These showed that the economy in Northern Ireland grew by 0.6%, an uplift on the previous quarter’s 0.3%. This placed Northern Ireland fifth (previous ranking ninth) out of the twelve UK ‘regions’.

London topped the table with growth of 5% whilst UK growth over the same period was 0.9%. The West Midlands was again the worst performer and contracted by 2.7%. The North East, Wales, South East, East Midlands and the North West were the other ‘regions’ in the UK to also suffer a decline.

In the same report, the ONS’s figures highlighted that the standalone quarter to December 2019 showed a slightly improving picture in Northern Ireland with the data better than the previous quarter. The provinces’s economy grew by 0.2% in October to December 2019, following -0.1% in July to September 2019.

This placed Northern Ireland fourth (previous ranking ninth) out of the twelve UK ‘regions. Northern Ireland was one of five regions of the UK that saw their economies grow but overall UK growth was flat.

The SW was top with quarterly growth of 0.8% whilst the North East was bottom, posting a drop of 1.3%.

Labour

Data from the ONS showed the Job Retention Scheme continued to depress unemployment across the UK. Unemployment in the province was 1,000 higher at 22,000 between April and June; the uplift of 0.1% took the rate to 2.5%. At 5.2% the North East was the highest; Northern Ireland had the lowest rate of 2.5%, with the UK rate at 3.9%.

The South East had the highest employment rate at 79.7%, this compared with 71.7% in Northern Ireland where 0.9m are employed; the UK rate was 76.4%.

Housing

The province’s average property price increased by 0.2% in Quarter 1 2020 to £140,580. The uplift took the annual increase to 3.8%. In comparison, UK prices dropped by 0.2% to £234,612 during April, an annual growth rate of 2.6%.

The ONS data is based on completed housing transactions. Typically, a house purchase can take 6 to 8 weeks to reach completion so the price data in the April figures will therefore reflect those completions that occurred before lockdown.

This is the first publication of the UK HPI since it was suspended in May 2020. The UK Property Transactions Statistics for April 2020 showed that that between March 2020 and April 2020, transactions decreased by 55.5%.

The EE economy shrinks by 6.1% following lockdown and data for a pre-pandemic period shows an earlier Brexit contraction with a big decline in production

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A nowcast for the EE for the 12 months ended June 2020 on a rolling 4 quarter basis, published by the Economic Statistic Centre of Excellence (‘ESCoE’), has estimated that the EE economy contracted by 6.1%.

This ranked the EE sixth in the UK and suggests the regional economy has so far coped ‘reasonably’ with the pandemic relative to the other eleven UK ‘regions’. Over the same period the East Midlands was ‘best’ with a fall of 4.5%, with London’s 7.4% contraction the ‘worst’; the UK decline according to the Office for National Statistics (‘ONS’) figures was 5.3%.

ESCoE is a partnership of research institutions and the ONS and has highlighted that during these unprecedented times, there is no historical data that their model can use to fully understand how the pandemic will impact regional economies. Consequently the partnership emphasises the uncertainties that exist with their nowcast at this time.

ONS GDP to December 2019

Official ONS figures for an earlier period which reflects Brexit uncertainty rather than Covid 19 turmoil, show the region’s performance relative to other parts of the UK. Following its first publication of quarterly GDP estimates for the regions in September 2019, the ONS has now published its fifth estimate for the EE, the other eight English regions, and Wales.  GDP figures have been available for the UK since the 1940s, for Scotland since 2002 and Northern Ireland since 2013.

These stats are for the period six months before ESCoE’s estimates shown above and compare GDP in the quarter ended December 2019 with the same quarter a year earlier. These showed that EE growth was flat, an uplift on -0.1% the previous quarter. This placed the EE sixth (previous ranking tenth) out of the twelve UK ‘regions’.

London topped the table with growth of 5% whilst UK growth over the same period was 0.9%. The West Midlands was again the worst performer and contracted by 2.7%. The North East, Wales, East Midlands and the North West were the other ‘regions’ in the UK to suffer a decline.

In the same report, the ONS’s figures highlighted that the standalone quarter to December 2019 showed a worsening picture in the EE with the data poorer than the previous quarter. The EE economy contracted by 0.4% in October to December 2019, following +1% in July to September 2019.

This placed the EE sixth (previous ranking fourth) out of the twelve UK ‘regions. The EE was one of seven regions of the UK that saw their economies contract but overall UK growth was flat.

The SW was top with quarterly growth of 0.8% whilst the North East was bottom, posting a drop of 1.3%.

In this period, the EE’s best sector was electricity with growth of 5% but information fell by 7.2%. Overall production was -1.2%, construction +0.3%, services -0.4% and agriculture -0.3%.

Labour

Data from the ONS showed the Job Retention Scheme continued to depress unemployment across the UK. Unemployment in the region was 2,000 higher at 122,000 between April and June; the uplift of 0.1% took the rate to 3.8%. At 5.2% the North East was the highest; Northern Ireland had the lowest rate of 2.5%, with the UK rate at 3.9%.

The South East had the highest employment rate at 79.7%, this compared with 71.7% in Northern Ireland and 77.9% in the EE where 3.1m are employed; the UK rate was 76.4%.

Housing

The EE’s average property price increased by 1.5% in April 2020 to £295,640. The uplift took the annual increase to 2.7%. In comparison, UK prices dropped by 0.2% to £234,612 during April, an annual growth rate of 2.6%.

The ONS data is based on completed housing transactions. Typically, a house purchase can take 6 to 8 weeks to reach completion so the price data in the April figures will therefore reflect those completions that occurred before lockdown.

This is the first publication of the UK HPI since it was suspended in May 2020. The UK Property Transactions Statistics for April 2020 showed that that between March 2020 and April 2020, transactions decreased by 55.5%.

The capital’s economy shrinks by 7.4% following lockdown but data for an earlier pre-pandemic period shows strong growth with a big uplift in production

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A nowcast for London for the 12 months ended June 2020 on a rolling 4 quarter basis, published by the Economic Statistic Centre of Excellence (‘ESCoE’), has estimated that the capital’s economy contracted by 7.4%.

This ranked the city last in the UK and suggests the capital’s economy has so far coped ‘poorer’ with the pandemic relative to the other eleven UK ‘regions’. Over the same period the East Midlands was ‘best’ with a fall of 4.5%, with London’s contraction the ‘worst’; the UK decline according to the Office for National Statistics (‘ONS’) figures was 5.3%.

ESCoE is a partnership of research institutions and the ONS and has highlighted that during these unprecedented times, there is no historical data that their model can use to fully understand how the pandemic will impact regional economies. Consequently the partnership emphasises the uncertainties that exist with their nowcast at this time.

ONS GDP to December 2019

Official ONS figures for an earlier period which reflects Brexit uncertainty rather than Covid 19 turmoil, show the capital’s performance relative to other parts of the UK. Following its first publication of quarterly GDP estimates for the regions in September 2019, the ONS has now published its fifth estimate for London, the other eight English regions, and Wales.  GDP figures have been available for the UK since the 1940s, for Scotland since 2002 and Northern Ireland since 2013.

These stats are for the period six months before ESCoE’s estimates shown above and compare GDP in the quarter ended December 2019 with the same quarter a year earlier. These showed that London’s growth was 5%, the same as the previous quarter. This placed the capital first (previous ranking also first) out of the twelve UK ‘regions’.

London topped the table whilst UK growth over the same period was 0.9%. The West Midlands was again the worst performer and contracted by 2.7%. The North East, Wales, East Midlands and the North West were the other ‘regions’ in the UK to suffer a decline.

In the same report, the ONS’s figures highlighted that the standalone quarter to December 2019 showed a worsening picture in London with the data poorer than the previous quarter. The capital’s economy grew by 0.5% in October to December 2019, following +1.5% in July to September 2019.

This placed London second (previous ranking first) out of the twelve UK ‘regions. London was one of five regions of the UK that saw their economies grow but overall UK growth was flat.

The SW was top with quarterly growth of 0.8% whilst the North East was bottom, posting a drop of 1.3%.

In this period, London’s best sector was water supply with growth of 14.7% but mining fell by 6.4%. Overall production was +3.2%, construction -0.2%, services 0.4% and agriculture -5.3%.

Labour

Data from the ONS showed the Job Retention Scheme continued to depress unemployment across the UK. Unemployment in the city was 4,000 lower at 235,000 between April and June; the drop of 0.1% took the rate to 4.6%. At 5.2% the North East was the highest; Northern Ireland had the lowest rate of 2.5%, with the UK rate at 3.9%.

The South East had the highest employment rate at 79.7%, this compared with 71.7% in Northern Ireland and 76.5% in London where 4.8m are employed; the UK rate was 76.4%.

Housing

The capital’s average property price fell by 1.6% in April 2020 to £480,425. The drop took the annual increase to 2.3%. In comparison, UK prices dropped by 0.2% to £234,612 during April, an annual growth rate of 2.6%.

The ONS data is based on completed housing transactions. Typically, a house purchase can take 6 to 8 weeks to reach completion so the price data in the April figures will therefore reflect those completions that occurred before lockdown.

This is the first publication of the UK HPI since it was suspended in May 2020. The UK Property Transactions Statistics for April 2020 showed that that between March 2020 and April 2020, transactions decreased by 55.5%.

The country’s economy shrinks by 6.1% following lockdown but data for a pre-pandemic period shows an earlier expansion

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A nowcast for Scotland for the 12 months ended June 2020 on a rolling 4 quarter basis, published by the Economic Statistic Centre of Excellence (‘ESCoE’), has estimated that Scotland’s economy contracted by 6.1%.

This ranked Scotland seventh in the UK and suggests the country’s economy has so far coped ‘poorer’ with the pandemic relative to the other eleven UK ‘regions’. Over the same period the East Midlands was ‘best’ with a fall of 4.5%, with London’s contraction the ‘worst’ at 7.4%; the UK’s decline according to the Office for National Statistics (‘ONS’) figures was 5.3%.

ESCoE is a partnership of research institutions and the ONS and has highlighted that during these unprecedented times, there is no historical data that their model can use to fully understand how the pandemic will impact regional economies. Consequently the partnership emphasises the uncertainties that exist with their nowcast at this time.

ONS GDP to December 2019

Official ONS figures for an earlier period which reflects Brexit uncertainty rather than Covid 19 turmoil, show the country’s performance relative to other parts of the UK. Following its first publication of quarterly GDP estimates for the regions in September 2019, the ONS has now published its fifth estimate for the nine English regions, and Wales.  GDP figures have been available for the UK since the 1940s, for Scotland since 2002 and Northern Ireland since 2013.

These stats are for the period six months before ESCoE’s estimates shown above and compare GDP in the quarter ended December 2019 with the same quarter a year earlier. These showed that the economy in Scotland grew by 0.6%, the same as the previous quarter. This placed Scotland fourth (previous ranking seventh) out of the twelve UK ‘regions’.

London topped the table with growth of 5% whilst UK growth over the same period was 0.9%. The West Midlands was again the worst performer and contracted by 2.7%. The North East, Wales, South East, East Midlands and the North West were the ‘regions’ in the UK to suffer a decline.

In the same report, the ONS’s figures highlighted that the standalone quarter to December 2019 showed a slightly worsening picture in Scotland with the data poorer than the previous quarter. The country’s economy grew by 0.2% in October to December 2019, following +0.3% in July to September 2019.

This placed Scotland fourth (previous ranking seventh) out of the twelve UK ‘regions. Scotland was one of five regions of the UK that saw their economies grow but overall UK growth was flat.

The SW was top with quarterly growth of 0.8% whilst the North East was bottom, posting a drop of 1.3%.

Labour

Data from the ONS showed the Job Retention Scheme continued to depress unemployment across the UK. Unemployment in the country was 11,000 higher at 124,000 between April and June; the uplift of 0.4% took the rate to 4.5%. At 5.2% the North East was the highest; Northern Ireland had the lowest rate of 2.5%, with the UK rate at 3.9%.

The South East had the highest employment rate at 79.7%, this compared with 71.7% in Northern Ireland and 74.3% in Scotland where 2.8m are employed; the UK rate was 76.4%.

Housing

Scotland’s average property price increased by 0.4% in April 2020 to £153,281. The uplift took the annual increase to 1.6%. In comparison, UK prices dropped by 0.2% to £234,612 during April, an annual growth rate of 2.6%.

The ONS data is based on completed housing transactions. Typically, a house purchase can take 6 to 8 weeks to reach completion so the price data in the April figures will therefore reflect those completions that occurred before lockdown.

This is the first publication of the UK HPI since it was suspended in May 2020. The UK Property Transactions Statistics for April 2020 showed that that between March 2020 and April 2020, transactions decreased by 55.5%.

The country’s economy shrinks by 6.8% following lockdown and data for an earlier pre-pandemic period also shows a contraction but house prices surge

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A nowcast for Wales for the 12 months ended June 2020 on a rolling 4 quarter basis, published by the Economic Statistic Centre of Excellence (‘ESCoE’), has estimated that the country’s economy contracted by 6.8%.

This ranked the country eleventh in the UK and suggests the country’s economy has so far coped ‘poorer’ with the pandemic relative to the other eleven UK ‘regions’. Over the same period the East Midlands was ‘best’ with a fall of 4.5%, with London’s contraction the ‘worst’ at 7.4%; the UK’s decline according to the Office for National Statistics (‘ONS’) figures was 5.3%.

ESCoE is a partnership of research institutions and the ONS and has highlighted that during these unprecedented times, there is no historical data that their model can use to fully understand how the pandemic will impact regional economies. Consequently the partnership emphasises the uncertainties that exist with their nowcast at this time.

ONS GDP to December 2019

Official ONS figures for an earlier period which reflects Brexit uncertainty rather than Covid 19 turmoil, show the country’s performance relative to other parts of the UK. Following its first publication of quarterly GDP estimates for the regions in September 2019, the ONS has now published its fifth estimate for the nine English regions and Wales.  GDP figures have been available for the UK since the 1940s, for Scotland since 2002 and Northern Ireland since 2013.

These stats are for the period six months before ESCoE’s estimates shown above and compare GDP in the quarter ended December 2019 with the same quarter a year earlier. These showed that the economy in Wales contracted by 0.5%, down from +1.7% the previous quarter. This placed the Wales eighth (previous ranking third) out of the twelve UK ‘regions’.

London topped the table with growth of 5% whilst UK growth over the same period was 0.9%. The West Midlands was again the worst performer and contracted by 2.7%. The North East, Wales, East Midlands and the North West were the ‘regions’ in the UK to suffer a decline.

In the same report, the ONS’s figures highlighted that the standalone quarter to December 2019 showed a worsening picture in Wales with the data poorer than the previous quarter. The country’s economy contracted by 1% in October to December 2019, following +0.7% in July to September 2019.

This placed Wales eleventh (previous ranking fifth) out of the twelve UK ‘regions. Wales was one of seven regions of the UK that saw their economies contract but overall UK growth was flat.

The SW was top with quarterly growth of 0.8% whilst the North East was bottom, posting a drop of 1.3%.

In this period, Wales’s best sector was the arts with growth of 2.5% but information fell by 11.6%. Overall production was -0.9%, construction +0.4%, services -1.1% and agriculture -0.2%.

Labour

Data from the ONS showed the Job Retention Scheme continued to depress unemployment across the UK. Unemployment in the country was 8,000 lower at 41,000 between April and June; the drop of 0.5% took the rate to 2.7%. At 5.2% the North East was the highest; Northern Ireland had the lowest rate of 2.5%, with the UK rate at 3.9%.

The South East had the highest employment rate at 79.7%, this compared with 71.7% in Northern Ireland and 75.3% in Wales where 1.5m are employed; the UK rate was 76.4%.

Housing

Wales’s average property price increased by 0.6% in April 2020 to £169.489. The uplift took the annual increase to 5%. In comparison, UK prices dropped by 0.2% to £234,612 during April, an annual growth rate of 2.6%.

The ONS data is based on completed housing transactions. Typically, a house purchase can take 6 to 8 weeks to reach completion so the price data in the April figures will therefore reflect those completions that occurred before lockdown.

This is the first publication of the UK HPI since it was suspended in May 2020. The UK Property Transactions Statistics for April 2020 showed that that between March 2020 and April 2020, transactions decreased by 55.5%.

The North East economy shrinks by 6.3% following lockdown and pre-pandemic data also shows an earlier Brexit contraction with all key sectors declining

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A nowcast for the NE for the 12 months ended June 2020 on a rolling 4 quarter basis, published by the Economic Statistic Centre of Excellence (‘ESCoE’), has estimated that the NE economy contracted by 6.3%.

This ranked the NE eighth in the UK and suggests the regional economy has so far coped ‘poorly’ with the pandemic relative to the other eleven UK ‘regions’. Over the same period the East Midlands was ‘best’ with a fall of 4.5%, with London’s 7.4% contraction the ‘worst’; the UK decline according to the Office for National Statistics (‘ONS’) figures was 5.3%.

ESCoE is a partnership of research institutions and the ONS and has highlighted that during these unprecedented times, there is no historical data that their model can use to fully understand how the pandemic will impact regional economies. Consequently the partnership emphasises the uncertainties that exist with their nowcast at this time.

ONS GDP to December 2019

Official ONS figures for an earlier period which reflects Brexit uncertainty rather than Covid 19 turmoil, show the region dropping places relative to other parts of the UK. Following its first publication of quarterly GDP estimates for the regions in September 2019, the ONS has now published its fifth estimate for the NE, the other eight English regions, and Wales.  GDP figures have been available for the UK since the 1940s, for Scotland since 2002 and Northern Ireland since 2013.

These stats are for the period six months before ESCoE’s estimates shown above and compare GDP in the quarter ended December 2019 with the same quarter a year earlier. These showed the NE contracted by 0.7%, a deterioration on +1.5% the previous quarter. This placed the NE tenth (previous ranking fourth) out of the twelve UK ‘regions’.

London topped the table with growth of 5% whilst UK growth over the same period was 0.9%. The West Midlands was again the worst performer and contracted by 2.7%. The North East, Wales, East Midlands and the North West were the other ‘regions’ in the UK to suffer a decline.

In the same report, the ONS’s figures highlighted that the standalone quarter to December 2019 also showed a much worsening picture in the NE with the data far poorer than the previous quarter. The NE economy fell by 1.3% in October to December 2019, following +1.6% in July to September 2019.

This placed the NE twelfth (previous ranking first) out of the twelve UK ‘regions. The NE was one of seven regions of the UK that saw their economies contract but overall the UK growth was flat.

The SW was top with quarterly growth of 0.8% whilst the North East was bottom.

In this period, the NE’s best sector was electricity, gas, steam and air with growth of 4.6% but information and communication fell by 13.9%. Overall all key sectors contracted, production was -1.8% construction -2.1%, services -1.1% and agriculture -1.1%.

Labour

Data from the ONS showed the Job Retention Scheme continued to depress unemployment across the UK. Unemployment in the region was 2,000 lower at 68,000 between April and June; the drop of 0.2% took the rate to 5.2%. At 5.2% the North East was the highest; Northern Ireland had the lowest rate of 2.5%, with the UK rate at 3.9%.

The South East had the highest employment rate at 79.7%, this compared with 71.7% in Northern Ireland and 74.3% in the NE where 1.2m are employed; the UK rate was 76.4%.

Housing

The NE’s average property price fell by 2.4% in April 2020 to £125.938. The drop took the annual fall to 2.3%. In comparison, UK prices dropped by 0.2% to £234,612 during April, an annual growth rate of 2.6%.

The ONS data is based on completed housing transactions. Typically, a house purchase can take 6 to 8 weeks to reach completion so the price data in the April figures will therefore reflect those completions that occurred before lockdown.

This is the first publication of the UK HPI since it was suspended in May 2020. The UK Property Transactions Statistics for April 2020 showed that that between March 2020 and April 2020, transactions decreased by 55.5%.

The North West economy contracts by 5.2% following lockdown but pre-pandemic data shows an earlier strong expansion and the Job Retention Scheme helps push regional unemployment down

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A nowcast for the NW for the 12 months ended June 2020 on a rolling 4 quarter basis, published by the Economic Statistic Centre of Excellence (‘ESCoE’), has estimated that the NW economy contracted by 5.2%.

This ranked the NW third in the UK and suggests the regional economy has so far coped ‘better’ with the pandemic relative to the other eleven UK ‘regions’. Over the same period the East Midlands was ‘best’ with a fall of 4.5%, with London’s 7.4% contraction the ‘worst’; the UK decline according to the Office for National Statistics (‘ONS’) figures was 5.3%.

ESCoE is a partnership of research institutions and the ONS and has highlighted that during these unprecedented times, there is no historical data that their model can use to fully understand how the pandemic will impact regional economies. Consequently the partnership emphasises the uncertainties that exist with their nowcast at this time.

ONS GDP to December 2019

Official ONS figures for an earlier period which reflects Brexit uncertainty rather than Covid 19 turmoil, show the region moving up places relative to other parts of the UK. Following its first publication of quarterly GDP estimates for the regions in September 2019, the ONS has now published its fifth estimate for the NW, the other eight English regions, and Wales.  GDP figures have been available for the UK since the 1940s, for Scotland since 2002 and Northern Ireland since 2013.

These stats are for the period six months before ESCoE’s estimates shown above and compare GDP in the quarter ended December 2019 with the same quarter a year earlier. These showed the NW contracted by 0.4%, an improvement on -1.3% the previous quarter. This placed the NW seventh (previous ranking eleventh) out of the twelve UK ‘regions’.

London topped the table with growth of 5% whilst UK growth over the same period was 0.9%. The West Midlands was again the worst performer and contracted by 2.7%. The North East, Wales, East Midlands and the North West were the other ‘regions’ in the UK to suffer a decline.

In the same report, the ONS’s figures highlighted that the standalone quarter to December 2019 also showed a much improving picture in the NW with the data far better than the previous quarter. The NW economy grew by 0.5% in October to December 2019, following -0.5% in July to September 2019.

This placed the NW second (previous ranking last) out of the twelve UK ‘regions. The NW was one of five regions of the UK that saw their economies grow but overall UK growth was flat.

The SW was top with quarterly growth of 0.8% whilst the North East was bottom, posting a drop of 1.3%.

In this period, the NW’s best sector was manufacturing with growth of 4.6% but education fell by 4%. Overall production was +4.1%, construction +0.1%, services -0.3% and agriculture -0.2%.

Labour

Data from the ONS showed the Job Retention Scheme continued to depress unemployment across the UK. Unemployment in the region was 20,000 lower at 128,000 between April and June; the drop of 0.5% took the rate to 3.5%. At 5.2% the North East was the highest; Northern Ireland had the lowest rate of 2.5%, with the UK rate at 3.9%.

The South East had the highest employment rate at 79.7%, this compared with 71.7% in Northern Ireland and 76.2% in the NW where 3.5m are employed; the UK rate was 76.4%.

Housing

The NW’s average property price fell by 0.2% in April 2020 to £167,809. The drop took the annual uplift to 3.4%. In comparison, UK prices dropped by 0.2% to £234,612 during April, an annual growth rate of 2.6%.

The ONS data is based on completed housing transactions. Typically, a house purchase can take 6 to 8 weeks to reach completion so the price data in the April figures will therefore reflect those completions that occurred before lockdown.

This is the first publication of the UK HPI since it was suspended in May 2020. The UK Property Transactions Statistics for April 2020 showed that that between March 2020 and April 2020, transactions decreased by 55.5%.

The regional economy shrinks by 5.4% following lockdown but data for an earlier period shows good growth and the Job Retention Scheme helps push regional unemployment down

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A nowcast for Y&H for the 12 months ended June 2020 on a rolling 4 quarter basis, published by the Economic Statistic Centre of Excellence (‘ESCoE’), has estimated that the Y&H economy contracted by 5.4%.

This ranked the Y&H fourth in the UK and suggests the regional economy has so far coped ‘better’ with the pandemic relative to the other eleven UK ‘regions’. Over the same period the East Midlands was ‘best’ with a fall of 4.5%, with London’s 7.4% contraction the ‘worst’; the UK decline according to the Office for National Statistics (‘ONS’) figures was 5.3%.

ESCoE is a partnership of research institutions and the ONS and has highlighted that during these unprecedented times, there is no historical data that their model can use to fully understand how the pandemic will impact regional economies. Consequently the partnership emphasises the uncertainties that exist with their nowcast at this time.

ONS GDP to December 2019

Official ONS figures for an earlier period which reflects Brexit uncertainty rather than Covid 19 turmoil, show the region stable relative to other parts of the UK. Following its first publication of quarterly GDP estimates for the regions in September 2019, the ONS has now published its fifth estimate for Y&H, the other eight English regions, and Wales. GDP figures have been available for the UK since the 1940s, for Scotland since 2002 and Northern Ireland since 2013.

These stats are for the period six months before ESCoE’s estimates shown above and compare GDP in the quarter ended December 2019 with the same quarter a year earlier. These showed Y&H grew by 1%, a deterioration on 2% the previous quarter. This placed Y&H third (previous ranking second) out of the twelve UK ‘regions’.

London topped the table with growth of 5% whilst UK growth over the same period was 0.9%. The West Midlands was again the worst performer and contracted by 2.7%. The North East, Wales, East Midlands and the North West were the other ‘regions’ in the UK to suffer a decline.

In the same report, the ONS’s figures highlighted that the standalone quarter to December 2019 showed a worsening picture in Y&H with the data poorer than the previous quarter. The Y&H economy contracted by 0.4% in October to December 2019, following +1.1% in July to September 2019.

This placed Y&H sixth (previous ranking third) out of the twelve UK ‘regions. Y&H was one of seven regions of the UK that saw their economies contract but overall UK growth was flat.

The South West was top with quarterly growth of 0.8% whilst the North East was bottom, posting a drop of 1.3%.

In this period, Y&H’s best sector was financial with growth of 4.8% but mining fell by 3.9%. Overall production was -1.9%, construction -1.3%, services 0% and agriculture 0.3%.

Labour

Data from the ONS showed the Job Retention Scheme continued to depress unemployment across the UK. Unemployment in the region was 15,000 lower at 101,000 between April and June; the drop of 0.5% took the rate to 3.8%. At 5.2% the North East was the highest; Northern Ireland had the lowest rate of 2.5%, with the UK rate at 3.9%.

The South East had the highest employment rate at 79.7%, this compared with 71.7% in Northern Ireland and 74.4% in Y&H where 2.6m are employed; the UK rate was 76.4%.

Housing

Y&H’s average property price fell by 0.1% in April 2020 to £165,561. The drop took the annual uplift to 2.3%. In comparison, UK prices dropped by 0.2% to £234,612 during April, an annual growth rate of 2.6%.

The ONS data is based on completed housing transactions. Typically, a house purchase can take 6 to 8 weeks to reach completion so the price data in the April figures will therefore reflect those completions that occurred before lockdown.

This is the first publication of the UK HPI since it was suspended in May 2020. The UK Property Transactions Statistics for April 2020 showed that that between March 2020 and April 2020, transactions decreased by 55.5%.

The regional economy shrinks by 6.8% following lockdown and data for an earlier period also shows a Brexit contraction but the Job Retention Scheme helps push regional unemployment down

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A nowcast for the WM for the 12 months ended June 2020 on a rolling 4 quarter basis, published by the Economic Statistic Centre of Excellence (‘ESCoE’), has estimated that the WM economy contracted by 6.8%.

This ranked the WM tenth in the UK and suggests the regional economy has so far coped ‘poorer’ with the pandemic relative to the other eleven UK ‘regions’. Over the same period the East Midlands was ‘best’ with a fall of 4.5%, with London’s 7.4% contraction the ‘worst’; the UK decline according to the Office for National Statistics (‘ONS’) figures was 5.3%.

ESCoE is a partnership of research institutions and the ONS and has highlighted that during these unprecedented times, there is no historical data that their model can use to fully understand how the pandemic will impact regional economies. Consequently the partnership emphasises the uncertainties that exist with their nowcast at this time.

ONS GDP to December 2019

Official ONS figures for an earlier period which reflects Brexit uncertainty rather than Covid 19 turmoil, show the region performed poorly relative to other parts of the UK. Following its first publication of quarterly GDP estimates for the regions in September 2019, the ONS has now published its fifth estimate for the WM, the other eight English regions, and Wales.  GDP figures have been available for the UK since the 1940s, for Scotland since 2002 and Northern Ireland since 2013.

These stats are for the period six months before ESCoE’s estimates shown above and compare GDP in the quarter ended December 2019 with the same quarter a year earlier. These showed the WM contracted by 2.7%, a deterioration on -1.7% the previous quarter. This placed the WM last (previous ranking also last) out of the twelve UK ‘regions’.

London topped the table with growth of 5% whilst UK growth over the same period was 0.9%. The West Midlands was again the worst performer with the North East, Wales, East Midlands and the North West the other ‘regions’ in the UK to suffer a decline.

In the same report, the ONS’s figures highlighted that the standalone quarter to December 2019 also showed a worsening picture in the WM with the data poorer than the previous quarter. The WM economy contracted by 0.6% in October to December 2019, following +0.2% in July to September 2019.

This placed WM eighth (previous ranking also eighth) out of the twelve UK ‘regions. The WM was one of seven regions of the UK that saw their economies contract but overall UK growth was flat.

The South West was top with quarterly growth of 0.8% whilst the North East was bottom, posting a drop of 1.3%.

In this period, the WM’s best sector was electricity with growth of 4.5% but mining fell by 8.3%. Overall production was -2.9%, construction -2.9%, services 0.1% and agriculture 0.4%.

Labour

Data from the ONS showed the Job Retention Scheme continued to depress unemployment across the UK. Unemployment in the region was 18,000 lower at 130,000 between April and June; the drop of 0.6% took the rate to 4.4%. At 5.2% the North East was the highest; Northern Ireland had the lowest rate of 2.5%, with the UK rate at 3.9%.

The South East had the highest employment rate at 79.7%, this compared with 71.7% in Northern Ireland and 75% in the WM where 2.8m are employed; the UK rate was 76.4%.

Housing

The WM’s average property price increased by 0.4% in April 2020 to £202,093. The uplift took the annual increase to 3.4%. In comparison, UK prices dropped by 0.2% to £234,612 during April, an annual growth rate of 2.6%.

The ONS data is based on completed housing transactions. Typically, a house purchase can take 6 to 8 weeks to reach completion so the price data in the April figures will therefore reflect those completions that occurred before lockdown.

This is the first publication of the UK HPI since it was suspended in May 2020. The UK Property Transactions Statistics for April 2020 showed that that between March 2020 and April 2020, transactions decreased by 55.5%.