The State of Britain

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The Welsh economy falls by 12% and unemployment jumps by 1.9%

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A nowcast for Wales for the 12 months ended September 2020 on a rolling 4 quarter basis, published by the Economic Statistic Centre of Excellence (‘ESCoE’), has estimated that the Wales economy contracted by 11.4%.

This ranked the Wales last in the UK and suggests the country’s economy has so far coped ‘poorly’ with the pandemic relative to the other eleven UK ‘regions’ on this metric. Over the same period the North East was ‘best’ with a fall of 6.5%; the UK decline according to these figures was c8%.

However, the total percentage change in the Welsh GDP relative to the end of 2019 is about -12%. This compares with -8% across the UK and about -16% in the North East.

ESCoE is a partnership of research institutions and the Office for National Statistics (‘ONS’) and has highlighted that during these unprecedented times, with differing lockdowns, 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 March 2020

Official ONS figures for an earlier period which reflects the start of the Covid 19 turmoil show the country’s performance relative to other parts of the UK.

These stats are for the period six months before ESCoE’s estimates shown above and compare GDP in the quarter ended March 2020 with the same quarter a year earlier. These showed that Wales’s growth was -3.8% compared with -0.5% the previous quarter. This placed Wales seventh (previous ranking eighth) out of the twelve UK ‘regions’.

London topped the table with growth of 1.5% whilst UK growth over the same period was -2.2%. The West Midlands was the worst performer and grew by -5.3%. London was the only region to show positive growth.

In the same report, the ONS’s figures for the standalone quarter to March 2020 showed Wales posted growth of -2.4% compared with -1% in October to December 2019.

This placed Wales fourth (previous ranking eleventh) out of the twelve UK ‘regions’. No region showed positive growth. London was top with quarterly growth of -1.5% whilst Northern Ireland was bottom, posting growth of -4.5%.

In this period, Wales’s best sector was water with growth of 3.3% but education fell by 17.8%. Production, Construction and Services were +0.4%, +0.1% and -3.5%.

Labour

Data from the ONS showed the Job Retention Scheme continued to depress unemployment across the UK. Unemployment in the country was up by 28,000 at 70,000 between July and September; the uplift of 1.9% took the rate to 4.6%. At 6.7% the North East was the highest; Northern Ireland had the lowest rate of 3.6%, with the UK rate at 4.8%.

The South East had the highest employment rate at 78.3%, this compared with 70.5% in Northern Ireland and 72.1% in Wales where 1.4m are employed; the UK rate was 75.3%.

Housing

The Welsh average property price fell by 1.9% in September 2020 to £170,604.  The drop took the annual increase to 3.8%. In comparison, UK prices grew by 1.7% to £244,513 during September, an annual growth rate of 4.7%.

The WM economy shrinks by 12% with all key sectors declining

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A nowcast for the WM for the 12 months ended September 2020 on a rolling 4 quarter basis, published by the Economic Statistic Centre of Excellence (‘ESCoE’), has estimated that the WM economy contracted by 9.3%.

This ranked the WM ninth in the UK and suggests the regional economy has so far coped ‘reasonably’ with the pandemic relative to the other eleven UK ‘regions’ on this metric. Over the same period the North East was ‘best’ with a fall of 6.5%, with Wales’s 11.4% contraction the ‘worst’; the UK decline according to these figures was c8%.

However, the total percentage change in the WM’s GDP relative to the end of 2019 is about -12%. This compares with -8% across the UK and about -16% in the North East.

ESCoE is a partnership of research institutions and the Office for National Statistics (‘ONS’) and has highlighted that during these unprecedented times, with differing lockdowns, 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 March 2020

Official ONS figures for an earlier period which reflects the start of the Covid 19 turmoil show the region’s performance relative to other parts of the UK.

These stats are for the period six months before ESCoE’s estimates shown above and compare GDP in the quarter ended March 2020 with the same quarter a year earlier. These showed that WM growth was -5.3% compared with -2.7% 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 1.5% whilst UK growth over the same period was -2.2%. London was the only region to show positive growth.

In the same report, the ONS’s figures for the standalone quarter to March 2020 showed the WM post growth of -3.5% compared with -0.6% in October to December 2019.

This placed the WM tenth (previous ranking sixth) out of the twelve UK ‘regions’. No region showed positive growth. London was top with quarterly growth of -1.5% whilst Northern Ireland was bottom, posting growth of -4.5%.

In this period, the WM’s best sector was finance with growth of 2.4% but administration fell by 10.4%. Production, Construction and Services were -3.9%, -7.7% and -3.0%.

Labour

Data from the ONS showed the Job Retention Scheme continued to depress unemployment across the UK. Unemployment in the region was 9,000 higher at 145,000 between July and September; the uplift of 0.3% took the rate to 4.9%. At 6.7% the North East was the highest; Northern Ireland had the lowest rate of 3.6%, with the UK rate at 4.8%.

The South East had the highest employment rate at 78.3%, this compared with 70.5% in Northern Ireland and 74.5% in the WM where 2.8m are employed; the UK rate was 75.3%.

Housing

The WM’s average property price increased by 1.3% in September 2020 to £208,497. The uplift took the annual increase to 4.0%. In comparison, UK prices grew by 1.7% to £244,513 during September, an annual growth rate of 4.7%.

The Y&H economy declines by 11% led by the education sector at -17%

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A nowcast for Y&H for the 12 months ended September 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 8.5%.

This ranked the Y&H sixth in the UK and suggests the regional economy has so far coped ‘reasonably’ with the pandemic relative to the other eleven UK ‘regions’ on this metric. Over the same period the North East was ‘best’ with a fall of 6.5%, with Wales’s 11.4% contraction the ‘worst’; the UK decline according to these figures was c8%.

However, the total percentage change in the Y&H’s GDP relative to the end of 2019 is about -11%. This compares with -8% across the UK and about -16% in the North East.

ESCoE is a partnership of research institutions and the Office for National Statistics (‘ONS’) and has highlighted that during these unprecedented times, with differing lockdowns, 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 March 2020

Official ONS figures for an earlier period which reflects the start of the Covid 19 turmoil show the region’s performance relative to other parts of the UK.

These stats are for the period six months before ESCoE’s estimates shown above and compare GDP in the quarter ended March 2020 with the same quarter a year earlier. These showed that Y&H growth was -2.9% compared with +1% the previous quarter. This placed the Y&H sixth (previous ranking third) out of the twelve UK ‘regions’.

London topped the table with growth of 1.5% whilst UK growth over the same period was -2.2%. The West Midlands was the worst performer and grew by -5.3%. London was the only region to show positive growth.

In the same report, the ONS’s figures for the standalone quarter to March 2020 showed Y&H post growth of -3.6% compared with -0.4% in October to December 2019.

This placed Y&H tenth (previous ranking sixth) out of the twelve UK ‘regions’. No region showed positive growth. London was top with quarterly growth of -1.5% whilst Northern Ireland was bottom, posting growth of -4.5%.

In this period, the Y&H’s best sector was finance with growth of 3.6% but education fell by 17.1%. Production, Construction and Services were -3.3%, -3.7% and -3.7%.

Labour

Data from the ONS showed the Job Retention Scheme continued to depress unemployment across the UK. Unemployment in the region was 24,000 higher at 127,000 between July and September; the uplift of 0.8% took the rate to 4.7%. At 6.7% the North East was the highest; Northern Ireland had the lowest rate of 3.6%, with the UK rate at 4.8%.

The South East had the highest employment rate at 78.3%, this compared with 70.5% in Northern Ireland and 74.5% in Y&H where 2.6m are employed; the UK rate was 75.3%.

Housing

The Y&H’s average property price increased by 1.2% in September 2020 to £174,450. The uplift took the annual increase to 5.4%. In comparison, UK prices grew by 1.7% to £244,513 during September, an annual growth rate of 4.7%.

Northern economies contract the most and UK debt exceeds 104% of GDP

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A nowcast for the UK ‘regions’ for the 12 months ended September 2020 on a rolling 4 quarter basis, published by the Economic Statistic Centre of Excellence (‘ESCoE’), has estimated that the North East was ‘best’ with a fall of 6.5%, with Wales’s 11.4% contraction the ‘worst’; the UK decline according to these figures was c8%.

However, the total percentage change in each region’s GDP relative to the end of 2019 has the East of England ‘best’ at -4% compared with -8% across the UK, and about -16% in the North East.

ESCoE is a partnership of research institutions and the Office for National Statistics (‘ONS’) and has highlighted that during these unprecedented times, with differing lockdowns, 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 March 2020

Official ONS figures for an earlier period which reflects the start of the Covid 19 turmoil show each regions performance relative to other parts of the UK.

These stats are for the period six months before ESCoE’s estimates shown above and compare GDP in the quarter ended March 2020 with the same quarter a year earlier. These showed London topped the table with growth of 1.5% whilst UK growth over the same period was -2.2%. The West Midlands was the worst performer and grew by -5.3%. London was the only region to show positive growth.

In the same report, the ONS’s figures for the standalone quarter to March 2020 showed no region recorded positive growth. London was top with quarterly growth of -1.5% whilst Northern Ireland was bottom, posting growth of -4.5%.

UK stats

UK GDP grew by +15.5% in the three months to September 2020 with GDP growth slowing to 1.1% in September itself. Over the quarter, services were up by 14.2%, construction up by 41% and production was up by 14.3%. Annually GDP has fallen by 9.6%.

According to Eurostat, GDP increased by 12.6% in the euro area and by 11.6% in the EU27 during the third quarter of 2020. This meant that annually GDP fell by 4.4% in the euro area and by 4.3% 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 grew by 8.2%, France by 18.2%, with Italy up by 16.1%. Annually, Germany contracted by 4.2% and France by 4.3% with a 4.7% decline recorded in Italy. The Swedish economy grew by 4.3% over the quarter which meant an annual contraction of 3.5%.

The UK labour market, supported by the Job Retention Scheme, is deteriorating, with the level of employment falling by 164,000 to 32.51m and the level of unemployment rising by 243,000 to 1.62m or 4.8%.

The euro area unemployment rate was 8.4% in October 2020, with the EU27 rate at 7.6%. The lowest unemployment rate in October 2020 was 2.9% in the Czech Republic and the highest was 16.8% in Greece.

UK inflation was 0.7% in October 2020 with Euro area annual inflation at -0.3% and European Union annual inflation at 0.3%.

The UK public sector deficit in October was £22.3bn, £10.8bn more than in October 2019. Debt at the end of October 2020 was £2,076bn which was 104.7% of GDP.

The SW economy shrinks by 5% but house prices are uplifted by 6.4%

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A nowcast for the SW for the 12 months ended September 2020 on a rolling 4 quarter basis, published by the Economic Statistic Centre of Excellence (‘ESCoE’), has estimated that the SW economy contracted by 7.8%.

This ranked the SW fourth in the UK and suggests the regional economy has so far coped ‘better’ with the pandemic relative to the other eleven UK ‘regions’ on this metric. Over the same period the North East was ‘best’ with a fall of 6.5%, with Wales’s 11.4% contraction the ‘worst’; the UK decline according to these figures was c8%.

However, the total percentage change in the SW’s GDP relative to the end of 2019 is about -5%. This compares with -8% across the UK and about -16% in the North East.

ESCoE is a partnership of research institutions and the Office for National Statistics (‘ONS’) and has highlighted that during these unprecedented times, with differing lockdowns, 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 March 2020

Official ONS figures for an earlier period which reflects the start of the Covid 19 turmoil show the region’s performance relative to other parts of the UK.

These stats are for the period six months before ESCoE’s estimates shown above and compare GDP in the quarter ended March 2020 with the same quarter a year earlier. These showed that SW growth was -1.7% compared with +1.1% the previous quarter. This placed the SW third (previous ranking second) out of the twelve UK ‘regions’.

London topped the table with growth of 1.5% whilst UK growth over the same period was -2.2%. The West Midlands was the worst performer and grew by -5.3%. London was the only region to show positive growth.

In the same report, the ONS’s figures for the standalone quarter to March 2020 showed the SW post growth of -2.8% compared with +0.8% in October to December 2019.

This placed the SW seventh (previous ranking first) out of the twelve UK ‘regions’. No region showed positive growth. London was top with quarterly growth of -1.5% whilst Northern Ireland was bottom, posting growth of -4.5%.

In this period, the SW’s best sector was education with growth of 0.7% but electricity fell by 10.6%. Production, Construction and Services were -4%, -6.3% and -2.3%.

Labour

Data from the ONS showed the Job Retention Scheme continued to depress unemployment across the UK. Unemployment in the region was 9,000 higher at 116,000 between July and September; the uplift of 0.3% took the rate to 4.1%. At 6.7% the North East was the highest; Northern Ireland had the lowest rate of 3.6%, with the UK rate at 4.8%.

The South East had the highest employment rate at 78.3%, this compared with 70.5% in Northern Ireland and 76.5% in the SW where 2.7m are employed; the UK rate was 75.3%.

Housing

The SW’s average property price increased by 3.3% in September 2020 to £275,376. The uplift took the annual increase to 6.4%. In comparison, UK prices grew by 1.7% to £244,513 during September, an annual growth rate of 4.7%.

The SE’s economy sinks by 12% following lockdown

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A nowcast for the SE for the 12 months ended September 2020 on a rolling 4 quarter basis, published by the Economic Statistic Centre of Excellence (‘ESCoE’), has estimated that the SE economy contracted by 8.5%.

This ranked the SE seventh in the UK and suggests the regional economy has so far coped ‘reasonably’ with the pandemic relative to the other eleven UK ‘regions’ on this metric. Over the same period the North East was ‘best’ with a fall of 6.5%, with Wales’s 11.4% contraction the ‘worst’; the UK decline according to these figures was c8%.

However, the total percentage change in the SE’s GDP relative to the end of 2019 is about -12%. This compares with -8% across the UK and about -16% in the North East.

ESCoE is a partnership of research institutions and the Office for National Statistics (‘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 March 2020

Official ONS figures for an earlier period which reflects the start of the Covid 19 turmoil show the region’s performance relative to other parts of the UK.

These stats are for the period six months before ESCoE’s estimates shown above and compare GDP in the quarter ended March 2020 with the same quarter a year earlier. These showed that SE growth was -4.9% compared with -1.2% the previous quarter. This placed the SE eleventh (previous ranking eleventh) out of the twelve UK ‘regions’.

London topped the table with growth of 1.5% whilst UK growth over the same period was -2.2%. The West Midlands was the worst performer and grew by -5.3%. London was the only region to show positive growth.

In the same report, the ONS’s figures for the standalone quarter to March 2020 showed the SE post growth of -3.4% compared with -0.6% in October to December 2019.

This placed the SE eighth (previous ranking eighth) out of the twelve UK ‘regions’. No region showed positive growth. London was top with quarterly growth of -1.5% whilst Northern Ireland was bottom, posting growth of -4.5%.

In this period, the SE’s best sector was finance with growth of 1.6% but education fell by 12.7%. Production, Construction and Services fell by 4.9%, 2.2% and 4.9%.

Labour

Data from the ONS showed the Job Retention Scheme continued to depress unemployment across the UK. Unemployment in the region was 38,000 higher at 198,000 between July and September; the uplift of 0.8% took the rate to 4.1%. At 6.7% the North East was the highest; Northern Ireland had the lowest rate of 3.6%, with the UK rate at 4.8%.

The South East had the highest employment rate at 78.3%, this compared with 70.5% in Northern Ireland; the UK rate was 75.3%.

Housing

The SE’s average property price increased by 1.4% in September 2020 to £336,783. The uplift took the annual increase to 4.0%. In comparison, UK prices grew by 1.7% to £244,513 during September, an annual growth rate of 4.7%.

The Scottish economy contracts by 14% but unemployment holds steady

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

This ranked Scotland second in the UK and suggests the country’s economy has so far coped ‘better’ with the pandemic relative to the other eleven UK ‘regions’ on this metric. Over the same period the North East was ‘best’ with a fall of 6.5%, with Wales’s 11.4% contraction the ‘worst’; the UK decline according to these figures was c8%.

However, the total percentage change in Scotland’s GDP relative to the end of 2019 is about -14%. This compares with -8% across the UK and about -16% in the North East.

ESCoE is a partnership of research institutions and the Office for National Statistics (‘ONS’) and has highlighted that during these unprecedented times, with differing lockdowns, 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 March 2020

Official ONS figures for an earlier period which reflects the start of the Covid 19 turmoil show the country’s performance relative to other parts of the UK.

These stats are for the period six months before ESCoE’s estimates shown above and compare GDP in the quarter ended March 2020 with the same quarter a year earlier. These showed that Scotland’s growth was -2.6% compared with +0.6% the previous quarter. This placed Scotland fifth (previous ranking fourth) out of the twelve UK ‘regions’.

London topped the table with growth of 1.5% whilst UK growth over the same period was -2.2%. The West Midlands was the worst performer and grew by -5.3%. London was the only region to show positive growth.

In the same report, the ONS’s figures for the standalone quarter to March 2020 showed Scotland post growth of -2.5% compared with +0.2% in October to December 2019.

This placed Scotland fifth (previous ranking fourth) out of the twelve UK ‘regions. No region showed positive growth. London was top with quarterly growth of -1.5% whilst Northern Ireland was bottom, posting growth of -4.5%%.

Labour

Data from the ONS showed the Job Retention Scheme continued to depress unemployment across the UK. Unemployment in the country was stable at 126,000 between July and September; the rate was 4.5%. At 6.7% the North East was the highest; Northern Ireland had the lowest rate of 3.6%, with the UK rate at 4.8%.

The South East had the highest employment rate at 78.3%, this compared with 70.5% in Northern Ireland and 74% in Scotland where 2.6m are employed; the UK rate was 75.3%.

Housing

Scotland’s average property price increased by 4.4% in September 2020 to £161,510.  The uplift took the annual increase to 4.3%. In comparison, UK prices grew by 1.7% to £244,513 during September, an annual growth rate of 4.7%.

The NW economy falls by 14% following lockdown with mining bucking the trend

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A nowcast for the NW for the 12 months ended September 2020 on a rolling 4 quarter basis, published by the Economic Statistic Centre of Excellence (‘ESCoE’), has estimated that the NW economy contracted by 7.9%.

This ranked the NW fifth in the UK and suggests the regional economy has so far coped ‘reasonably’ with the pandemic relative to the other eleven UK ‘regions’ on this metric. Over the same period the North East was ‘best’ with a fall of 6.5%, with Wales’s 11.4% contraction the ‘worst’; the UK decline according to these figures was c8%.

However, the total percentage change in the NW’s GDP relative to the end of 2019 is about -14%. This compares with -8% across the UK and about -16% in the North East.

ESCoE is a partnership of research institutions and the Office for National Statistics (‘ONS’) and has highlighted that during these unprecedented times, with differing lockdowns, 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 March 2020

Official ONS figures for an earlier period which reflects the start of the Covid 19 turmoil show the region’s performance relative to other parts of the UK.

These stats are for the period six months before ESCoE’s estimates shown above and compare GDP in the quarter ended March 2020 with the same quarter a year earlier. These showed that NW growth was -2.4% compared with -0.4% the previous quarter. This placed the NW fourth (previous ranking seventh) out of the twelve UK ‘regions’.

London topped the table with growth of 1.5% whilst UK growth over the same period was -2.2%. The West Midlands was the worst performer and grew by -5.3%. London was the only region to show positive growth.

In the same report, the ONS’s figures for the standalone quarter to March 2020 showed the NW post growth of -2.0% compared with +0.5% in October to December 2019.

This placed the NW third (previous ranking second) out of the twelve UK ‘regions’. No region showed positive growth. London was top with quarterly growth of -1.5% whilst Northern Ireland was bottom, posting growth of -4.5%.

In this period, the NW’s best sector was mining with growth of 5.4% but education fell by 15.3%. Production, Construction and Services were +2.2%, -3.2% and -2.9%.

Labour

Data from the ONS showed the Job Retention Scheme continued to depress unemployment across the UK. Unemployment in the region was 33,000 higher at 167,000 between July and September; the uplift of 0.9% took the rate to 4.6%. At 6.7% the North East was the highest; Northern Ireland had the lowest rate of 3.6%, with the UK rate at 4.8%.

The South East had the highest employment rate at 78.3%, this compared with 70.5% in Northern Ireland and 74.7% in the NW where 3.5m are employed; the UK rate was 75.3%.

Housing

The NW’s average property price increased by 1.2% in September 2020 to £176,976. The uplift took the annual increase to 6.0%. In comparison, UK prices grew by 1.7% to £244,513 during September, an annual growth rate of 4.7%.

The NI economy shrinks by 8% but unemployment still the lowest in the UK

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A nowcast for NI for the 12 months ended September 2020 on a rolling 4 quarter basis, published by the Economic Statistic Centre of Excellence (‘ESCoE’), has estimated that the NI economy contracted by 7.8%.

This ranked NI third in the UK and suggests the province’s economy has so far coped ‘better’ with the pandemic relative to the other eleven UK ‘regions’ on this metric. Over the same period the North East was ‘best’ with a fall of 6.5%, with Wales’s 11.4% contraction the ‘worst’; the UK decline according to these figures was c8%.

However, the total percentage change in the NI GDP relative to the end of 2019 is about -8%. This compares with -8% across the UK and about -16% in the North East.

ESCoE is a partnership of research institutions and the Office for National Statistics (‘ONS’) and has highlighted that during these unprecedented times, with differing lockdowns, 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 March 2020

Official ONS figures for an earlier period which reflects the start of the Covid 19 turmoil show the province’s performance relative to other parts of the UK.

These stats are for the period six months before ESCoE’s estimates shown above and compare GDP in the quarter ended March 2020 with the same quarter a year earlier. These showed that NI’s growth was -4% compared with +0.6% the previous quarter. This placed NI nonth (previous ranking fifth) out of the twelve UK ‘regions’.

London topped the table with growth of 1.5% whilst UK growth over the same period was -2.2%. The West Midlands was the worst performer and grew by -5.3%. London was the only region to show positive growth.

In the same report, the ONS’s figures for the standalone quarter to March 2020 showed NI post growth of -4.5% compared with +0.2% in October to December 2019.

This placed NI last (previous ranking fourth) out of the twelve UK ‘regions’. No region showed positive growth. London was top with quarterly growth of -1.5%.

Labour

Data from the ONS showed the Job Retention Scheme continued to depress unemployment across the UK. Unemployment in the province was up by 9,000 at 32,000 between July and September; the uplift of 1% took the rate to 3.6%. At 6.7% the North East was the highest; Northern Ireland had the lowest rate, with the UK rate at 4.8%.

The South East had the highest employment rate at 78.3%, this compared with 70.5% in Northern Ireland where 0.9m are employed; the UK rate was 75.3%.

Housing

The province’s average property price increased by 1.5% in Q2 2020 to £143,205.  The uplift took the annual increase to 2.4%. In comparison, UK prices grew by 1.7% to £244,513 during September, an annual growth rate of 4.7%.

The NE economy falls by 16% following lockdown and unemployment hits 6.7%

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A nowcast for the NE for the 12 months ended September 2020 on a rolling 4 quarter basis, published by the Economic Statistic Centre of Excellence (‘ESCoE’), has estimated that the NE economy contracted by 6.5%.

This ranked the NE first in the UK and suggests the regional economy has so far coped ‘better’ with the pandemic relative to the other eleven UK ‘regions’ on this metric. Wales’s 11.4% contraction was the ‘worst’; the UK decline according to these figures was c8%.

However, the total percentage change in the NE’s GDP relative to the end of 2019 is about -16%. This compares with -8% across the UK.

ESCoE is a partnership of research institutions and the Office for National Statistics (‘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 March 2020

Official ONS figures for an earlier period which reflects the start of the Covid 19 turmoil show the region’s performance relative to other parts of the UK.

These stats are for the period six months before ESCoE’s estimates shown above and compare GDP in the quarter ended March 2020 with the same quarter a year earlier. These showed that NE growth was -3.9% compared with -0.7% the previous quarter. This placed the NE eighth (previous ranking tenth) out of the twelve UK ‘regions’.

London topped the table with growth of 1.5% whilst UK growth over the same period was -2.2%. The West Midlands was the worst performer and grew by -5.3%. London was the only region to show positive growth.

In the same report, the ONS’s figures for the standalone quarter to March 2020 showed the NE post growth of -2.7% compared with -1.3% in October to December 2019.

This placed the NE sixth (previous ranking twelfth) out of the twelve UK ‘regions. No region showed positive growth. London was top with quarterly growth of -1.5% whilst Northern Ireland was bottom, posting growth of -4.5%.

In this period, the NE’s best sector was water supply with growth of 3.7% but arts fell by 11.4%. Production, Construction and Services fell by 3.4%, 1.1% and 2.7%.

Labour

Data from the ONS showed the Job Retention Scheme continued to depress unemployment across the UK. Unemployment in the region was 15,000 higher at 88,000 between July and September; the uplift of 1.2% took the rate to 6.7%. At 6.7% the North East was the highest; Northern Ireland had the lowest rate of 3.6%, with the UK rate at 4.8%.

The South East had the highest employment rate at 78.3%, this compared with 70.5% in Northern Ireland and 71.5% in the NE where 1.2m are employed; the UK rate was 75.3%.

Housing

The NE’s average property price increased by 2.8% in September 2020 to £136,262. The uplift took the annual increase to 3.3%. In comparison, UK prices grew by 1.7% to £244,513 during September, an annual growth rate of 4.7%.