The State of Britain

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The regional economy shrinks by 4.5% following lockdown, the best UK performance, and EM house prices increase by 4.7%

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A nowcast for the EM 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 EM economy contracted by 4.5%.

This ranked the EM first 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 London’s 7.4% contraction was the ‘worst’ with the UK decline according to the Office for National Statistics (‘ONS’) figures at 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 EM, 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 EM contracted by 0.6%, a deterioration on +0.7% the previous quarter. This placed the EM ninth (previous ranking sixth) 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 worsening picture in the EM with the data poorer than the previous quarter. The EM economy contracted by 0.6% in October to December 2019, following -0.3% in July to September 2019.

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

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%.

In this period, the EM’s best sector was professional scientific with growth of 0.8% but arts fell by 9.3%. Overall production was -0.7%, construction +0.8%, services -0.8% 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 13,000 higher at 107,000 between April and June; the uplift of 0.6% took the rate to 4.3%. 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 77.3% in the EM where 2.5m are employed; the UK rate was 76.4%.

Housing

The EM’s average property price increased by 1.1% in April 2020 to £200,513. The uplift took the annual increase to 4.7%. 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 regional economy shrinks by 4.9% following lockdown but data for an earlier pre-pandemic period shows the region outperforming all parts of the UK

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A nowcast for the SW 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 SW economy contracted by 4.9%.

This ranked the SW second 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’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 SW, 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 SW grew by 1.1%, an uplift on 0.6% the previous quarter. This placed the SW second (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, 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 an improving picture in the SW with the data better than the previous quarter. The SW economy grew by 0.8% in October to December 2019, following +0.4% in July to September 2019.

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

The SW was top of the table but the North East was bottom, posting a drop of 1.3%.

In this period, the SW’s best sector was administrative support with growth of 7% but information fell by 4.1%. Overall production was +1.8%, construction +0.9%, services +0.6% and agriculture -0.1%.

Labour

Data from the ONS showed the Job Retention Scheme continued to depress unemployment across the UK. Unemployment in the region was 14,000 higher at 102,000 between April and June; the uplift of 0.5% took the rate to 3.6%. 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 78.1% in the SW where 2.8m are employed; the UK rate was 76.4%.

Housing

The SW’s average property price fell by 2.5% in April 2020 to £255,891. The drop took the annual increase to 1.2%. 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 SE economy shrinks by 5.8% following lockdown and data for an earlier pre-pandemic period also shows a Brexit contraction with a big decline in services

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A nowcast for the SE 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 SE economy contracted by 5.8%.

This ranked the SE fifth 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 dropping a few 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 SE, 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 SE contracted by 1.2%, a deterioration on 0.8% the previous quarter. This placed the SE eleventh (previous ranking fifth) 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 worsening picture in the SE with the data poorer than the previous quarter. The SE economy fell by 0.6% in October to December 2019, following -0.4% in July to September 2019.

This placed the SE eighth (previous ranking ninth) out of the twelve UK ‘regions. The SE 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 SE’s best sector was water supply with growth of 8.4% but administrative and support service activities fell by 4.4%. Overall production was flat and construction grew by 0.9%, but services fell by 0.9% and agriculture was down by 0.4%.

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 157,000 between April and June; the uplift of 0.3% took the rate to 3.3%. 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% where 4.7m are employed; this compared with 71.7% in Northern Ireland, with the UK rate at 76.4%.

Housing

The SE’s average property price increased by 0.2% in April 2020 to £327,413. 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%.

More normality on the Isle of Man sees the unemployment rate hold steady, the pandemic yet to impact economic data on the Rock and unemployment in Guernsey drops

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Isle of Man

Inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index stood at 0.1% for July 2020, up from -0.3% in June 2020. At 0.7% recreation and culture was the biggest contributor towards the increase compared to the same time last year. All products within this category experienced an uplift in prices compared to July 2019, with internet subscriptions increasing by 13.7% and pet care by 8.8%.

On the Isle of Man labour market, the number of registered unemployed increased by 766 compared with July 2019. This meant the rate for July 2020 was 2.6%, the same as the previous month.

On earnings, median gross weekly pay of full-time employees was £593 in 2019 with full-time employees working an average of 37.9 hours per week, including 1.2 hours of overtime.

Overtime, incentive pay and shift premia made up 6.7% of employees’ gross weekly earnings up from 6.3% in 2018. Median Isle of Man earnings were 1.4% higher than the median UK earnings.

On the Island, 15.7% of employees in 2019 earned less than the Living Wage, up from 11.2% and 14% in 2018 and 2017 respectively and 3.1% of employees earned the Minimum Wage down from 3.4% in 2018.

Gibraltar

At the end of August there were 51 active cases of COVID-19 in Gibraltar. The Territory has had 270 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and no deaths at all. Gibraltar has largely returned to normal including open bars (with some restrictions) and limits on the size of private gatherings.

There is little data on the impact the pandemic has had on the Rock’s £2.3bn economy, with the latest figures showing unemployment (Dec 2019) at an all time low of 40 but inflation (April 2020) has dropped to 0.6%. The latest GDP figures (2018/19) showed the economy grew at 5.9%. Gibraltar’s GDP is calculated annually.

Channel Islands

In Jersey the number of people looking for work was 2,000 in June; this is 990 higher than at the end of the previous quarter and 1,130 higher than a year earlier.

On property, on a rolling four-quarter basis, the mix-adjusted average price of dwellings sold in Jersey during the year ending Q2 2020 was 1% higher compared with the previous quarter but the turnover of properties was 56% lower than in Q2 2019 and 32% lower than in Q1 2020. Q2 2020 saw the lowest quarterly turnover for more than 7 years, since Q1 2013.

This meant the mix-adjusted average price of properties sold in Jersey was £584,000 which compared with £460,000 in Guernsey.

House prices in Guernsey were 3.5% higher than in the previous quarter and 7.5% higher than in the corresponding quarter of 2019. Turnover in Guernsey during the second quarter of 2020 was 19% lower than in the previous quarter and 38% lower than in the corresponding quarter of 2019.

During the week ending 1st August 2020, 2.7% of the workforce (856 people) were unemployed in Guernsey compared to a peak of 5.2% (1,631 people) at the end of May 2020.

Median earnings as at 31st March 2020 were £34,409 higher on the island which, when compared with a year earlier, was 2.6% higher in nominal terms and 0.6% higher in real terms.

UK GDP biggest drop ever and debt just short of 2 trillion as the furlough scheme constrains unemployment; average incomes in Kensington over £50K more than in Nottingham

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This month the ONS published regional household disposal income figures for 2018. Total gross disposable household income (GDHI) in the UK in 2018 was £1.4bn. Of that, 86.3% was in England, 7.6% was in Scotland, 3.8% was in Wales and 2.3% was in Northern Ireland.

The average UK income per head after direct and indirect taxes were taken off was £21,109.  England was the only country above the UK average at £21,609 but growth in incomes was best in Scotland and Northern Ireland at 5.1% and 4.7%. England’s growth was the same as the UK at 4.6%; Wales grew by 4.4%.

At a regional level, London had the highest GDHI per head where, on average, each person had £29,362 available to spend or save; the North East had the lowest at £16,995 which compares with a UK average of £21,109.

At a local level, Kensington and Chelsea and Hammersmith and Fulham had the highest GDHI per head at £63,286 with Nottingham the lowest at £13,138. All the top 10 local areas were in London or the South East with the bottom 10 within the North West, Yorkshire and The Humber, East Midlands, West Midlands, and Northern Ireland regions.

In terms of regional GDHI growth, the largest increase was in London at 5.2% with the smallest in the East Midlands at 3.6%.

At a local level, Kensington & Chelsea and Hammersmith & Fulham was best again in the UK with growth of 7.6% whereas Luton was the worst and only grew by 0.9%.

Separate data on earnings showed London had the highest average of £847 and the lowest average of £537 was recorded in Northern Ireland. Earnings in the NE increased the most in the UK by £60 per week whereas the biggest drop in wages was £37 in Scotland.

UK stats

The UK public sector deficit in May was £55.2bn, £49.6n more than in May 2019, the highest borrowing in any month since records began. Debt at the end of May 2020 was £1,950bn which was 100.9% of GDP, an increase of £173bn or 20.5% on May 2019; the largest year-on-year increase in debt as a percentage of GDP since monthly records began in March 1993. This is the first time that debt as a percentage of GDP has exceeded 100% since the financial year ending March 1963.

UK GDP fell by 10.4% in the three months to April 2020 with GDP declining by 20.4% in April itself. Over the quarter, services were down by 9.9% construction fell by 18.2% and production was down by 9.5%.  Year on year the contraction was 1.7%.

The drop in GDP is the biggest the UK has ever seen, more than three times larger than in March and almost ten times larger than the steepest pre-covid-19 fall. In April the economy was c25% smaller than in February.

According to Eurostat, GDP fell by 3.6% in the euro area and by 3.2% in the EU27 during the first quarter of 2020. This meant that annually GDP fell by 3.1% in the euro area and by 2.6% in the EU27.

Key European economies are now feeling the effects of the April shutdown, with the shocking data now flowing through. Over the quarter the data showed that the German economy fell by 2.2%, France contracted by 5.3%, with Italy also shrinking by 5.3%. Annually, Germany contracted by 2.3% and France by 5.0% with a 5.4% decline recorded in Italy. The Swedish economy contracted by 0.1% over the quarter which meant annual growth was +0.4%.

Due to the furlough scheme. the UK labour market was largely unchanged in May, with the level of employment stable at 32.99m and the level of unemployment similar at 1.33m or 3.9%.

The effects of lockdown though can be seen in the vacancies figure. There were an estimated 476,000 vacancies in the UK in March to May 2020; this is 342,000 fewer than the previous quarter and 365,000 fewer than a year earlier.

The euro area unemployment rate was 7.4% in May 2020, with the EU27 rate at 6.7%. The lowest unemployment rate in May 2020 was 2.4% in the Czech Republic and the highest was 14.5% in Spain.

UK inflation was 0.5% in May 2020 down from 0.8% in April. Key downward contributions came from motor fuel with the biggest risers being food and non-alcoholic drinks.

Euro area annual inflation was 0.1% in May, down from 0.3% in April. European Union annual inflation was 0.6% in May 2020, down from 0.7% in April. A year earlier, the Euro area rate was 1.6%.

 

Normality on the Isle of Man, the pandemic yet to impact economic data on the Rock and a fiscal surplus in Guernsey is timely

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The Isle of Man has no remaining active cases of coronavirus. Twenty-four people have died on the island but the last positive case of the virus was recorded on 20 May.

The island became the first place in the British Isles to scrap social distancing and lockdown restrictions. Since 15 June islanders have been able to visit pubs, restaurants, shops and gyms and children returned to school.

Whilst travel to the island remains largely prohibited, a Guernsey and Isle of Man ‘air bridge’ will operate from July. Travellers between the islands, which are both currently Covid-19 free, will not have to self-isolate.

Economic data to May 2020 reflects the impact of the pandemic on the Island although unemployment eased slightly compared with April 2020. The rate for May 2020 was 3.0%, a drop of 0.1% from the previous month.

On inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, the rate stands at 0.1% for May 2020, down from 0.8% in April 2020. Three main sectors contributed to the decrease, clothing/footwear, transport, and housing/water/electricity/gas/other fuels.

Gibraltar

At the end of June there were no known active cases of COVID-19 in Gibraltar. The Territory has had 174 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and no deaths at all. Gibraltar has largely returned to normal including open bars (with some restrictions) and limits on the size of private gatherings.

There is little data on the impact the pandemic has had on the Rock’s £2.3bn economy, with the latest figures showing unemployment (Dec 2019) at an all time low of 40 and inflation (Jan 2020) barely moving to 1.1%. The latest GDP figures (2018/19) showed the economy grew at 5.9%. Gibraltar’s GDP is calculated annually.

An indication of the impact, however, is given by the number of passengers and crew from cruise liners who disembarked in May 2020; nil compared with 36,000 in May 2019. Revenue from the Upper Rock tourist sites for example, was c£600K in April 2019 compared with c£90K in March 2020.

This month Chief Minister Fabian Picardo confirmed that the Rock had had virtually no income for c3 months and had tripled its expenditure.

He stated the Government had drawn down £90m from a £150m facility arranged with the Gibraltar International Bank.

In his Emergency Budget in March, the Chief Minister said the Government would borrow up to £500m in order to put in place measures to protect local businesses and deal with the Covid public health emergency.

Mr Picardo said the Government preferred debt as it would earn more on its reserves than it would pay in interest on this borrowing.

Channel Islands

At the end of June there were no known active cases of COVID-19 in Jersey and in Guernsey.

 Economic data has now begun to reflect the impact of the pandemic on the islands.  

The total number of people registered as seeking work in Jersey in June was 2,050. This is 70 lower than a week earlier but 1,220 higher than at the end of the comparable week in 2019.

In Guernsey during the week ending 30th May, 5.2% of the workforce (1,631 workers) were wholly unemployed compared to 5.0% at the end of April and 1.6% at the end of March. During April 2020, the total number of people registered unemployed reached a peak of 2,374 (7.5% of the workforce).

A ‘revive and thrive’ recovery strategy from the coronavirus pandemic has been published by the Guernsey government. Currently the States has agreed to invest up to £650m of which a £225m short-term borrowing arrangement has been agreed with local banks.

Economic modelling has projected a loss of c£300m to the economy in 2020, 8% of the total, which could take 10 years to recover from without fiscal stimulus.

Key initiatives will be completing the review of air and sea links, including clarifying state owned airline Aurigny’s role as an ‘economic enabler’; investing in infrastructure and regeneration projects; reviewing the population management regime to enable recruitment of skilled workers and overhauling telecommunications infrastructure and reviewing 5G provision

The future position of Aurigny was already under review after the company announced losses of £7.6m last year, about £3m higher than previously forecast. Overall the airline received a £9.7m bailout from the States.

Guernsey’s finances were in good shape prior to the pandemic after a £105.6m surplus in 2019 was reported in government accounts. This represented a significant improvement from a 2018 deficit of £16.2m. The turnaround was due to investment returns of £86.3m and a £25.6m increase in tax revenue.

Guernsey has built up £195m in government reserves, £100m of which will be used to fund the recovery alongside the £550m in borrowing as stated above.

NE steel and coal production issues, a big hike in regional wages but incomes the lowest in the UK

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State owned Teesside Airport may host drive-in gigs for some major music concerts, promoter Live Nation has announced. The Streets, Dizzee Rascal and Sigala are among those due to perform over the summer. The 300-car gigs have been designed to provide a safe alternative to the events that have been cancelled.

In industry, British Steel is pausing production at Skinningrove for three weeks for a second time this year. The company confirmed 300 workers would be furloughed at the Teeside site as a temporary measure.

In County Durham, Banks Group’s plans to enlarge its Bradley West mine to extract an extra 90,000 tonnes of coal have been rejected by councillors.

Extraction of coal began in May 2018 and the project had been recommended by planning officers.

Banks, which had promised to restore the land by August 2021, said the extension would protect jobs on the site and support British industry by providing an alternative to imported coal from America, Russia or Australia.

The Stats

This month the ONS published regional household disposal income figures for 2018. Total gross disposable household income (GDHI) in the UK in 2018 was £1.4bn. Of that, 86.3% was in England, 7.6% was in Scotland, 3.8% was in Wales and 2.3% was in Northern Ireland.

The average UK income per head after direct and indirect taxes were taken off was £21,109.  England was the only country above the UK average at £21,609 but growth in incomes was best in Scotland and Northern Ireland at 5.1% and 4.7%. England’s growth was the same as the UK at 4.6%; Wales grew by 4.4%.

At a regional level, London had the highest GDHI per head where, on average, each person had £29,362 available to spend or save; the North East had the lowest at £16,995 which compares with the UK average of £21,109.

At a local level, Kensington and Chelsea/Hammersmith and Fulham district had the highest GDHI per head at £63,286 with Nottingham the lowest at £13,138. All the top 10 local areas were in London or the South East with the bottom 10 within the North West, Yorkshire and The Humber, East Midlands, West Midlands, and Northern Ireland regions.

The wealthiest part of the North East was Northumberland with incomes of £20,437. This ranked the area 70th out of 179 districts of the UK. The poorest area of the region was South Teesside at £15,764, just beating Sunderland at £16,000. South Teesside was ranked 164th in the UK, Nottingham and Leicester were bottom.

In terms of regional growth, the largest increase was in London at 5.2% with the smallest in the East Midlands at 3.6%. NE growth was 3.9%.

At the local level, Kensington & Chelsea and Hammersmith & Fulham was best again in the UK with growth of 7.6% whereas Luton was the worst and only grew by 0.9%.

In the NE, income growth in Northumberland was top at 4.8% with Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees second at 4.7%. South Teesside was again the worst regional performer with growth of 1.4%, a ranking of 176th.

Labour

More data from the ONS showed unemployment in the region was 11,000 lower at 68,000 between February and April; the big drop of 1.0% took the rate to 5.2%. Despite narrowing the gap with the West Midlands (4.8%), at 5.2% the North East was still the highest; Northern Ireland had the lowest rate of 2.3%, with the UK rate at 3.9%.

The South East had the highest employment rate at 79.5% which compared with 73.9% in the NE where 1.2m are employed; the UK rate was 76.4%.

Public sector employment in the NE increased by 2.7% in March to 236,000, which was 19.2% of the workforce. At 25.2% Northern Ireland had the highest level of public sector employment which compared to 13.9% in London which was the lowest.

In March, average earnings in the NE increased by £60 to £590 per week. London had the highest average earnings of £847 and the lowest average earnings of £537 were recorded in Northern Ireland.

Earnings in the NE increased the most in the UK by £60 per week whereas the biggest drop in wages was £37 in Scotland.

In the UK overall, average earnings grew by 1.7% or by 0.4% after inflation. If bonuses are included real pay fell by 0.4%.

The public sector saw the highest estimated growth, at 3.2% for regular pay, while negative growth was seen in the construction sector, estimated at negative 1.8%. Both the wholesaling, retailing, hotels and restaurants sector and the manufacturing sector saw very weak growth at 0.1% for regular pay.

Housing

Estimates of private sector rents for the year to March 2020 were published by the ONS this month.

The median monthly rent was an all time high of £700 in England between 1 April 2019 and 31 March 2020. London had the highest median monthly rent at £1,425 with the North East the lowest at £495. Within local authorities the difference in monthly rental price between the most and least expensive was nearly £2,100.

In the NE rental prices ranged from £425 to £595 with £495 the median.

Data for the 12 months to May 2020 showed private rental prices paid by tenants in the UK rose by 1.5%, unchanged from the previous month. Rental prices grew by 1.5% in England, 1.2% in Wales and 0.6% in Scotland.

Rental prices increased the most in the South West, up by 2.5%, with the lowest price growth in the North East at 0.8%, followed by the North West, which increased by 1.0%.

According to the ONS the South West is also projected to have the highest regional rate of growth in households over the next ten years, at 9%. This compares with 4.3% in the NE (the lowest).

Overall the number of households in England is projected to increase by 1.6m (7.1%) from 23.2m in 2018 to 24.8m in 2028. The NE is forecast to have 1.2m households by 2028.

Given the closure of the housing market following lockdown the ONS has suspended its property price index until further notice.

NW clean energy projects, incomes in Cheshire East striking, Lancaster and Wyre growth disappoints

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Plans for two nuclear power plants at Moorside, adjacent to the Sellafield reprocessing plant, have been submitted by an EDF-led consortium. The firm wants to build two pressurised water reactors of the same type as Hinkley Point C in Somerset; 25,000 jobs could be created across the region.

In Greater Manchester, one of the world’s first commercial liquid air batteries will be built after being awarded a £10m government grant.

The CryoBattery facility in Carrington will store spare green energy and could power up to 200,000 homes. The technology stores compressed air in huge containers which is used to generate electricity.

Construction of the facility is expected to start later this year and enter commercial operation in 2022. The new plant will create up to 200 new jobs.

In Lancashire, the leaders of all 15 local authorities have voted for an elected mayor to head up a combined county wide authority. The deal would hand Lancashire more powers and funds of at least £30m a year for 30 years. Mayors were elected in the neighbouring regions of Greater Manchester and the Liverpool City region, as well as other English regions, in 2017.

Also in the county, Blackpool Illuminations will be extended to 3 January to help the town’s Covid-19-stricken tourism trade. The lightshow’s switch-on this year will be live-streamed on 4 September, the first time in more than 70 years the resort’s switch-on event will not be held on the seafront.

The Stats

This month the ONS published regional household disposal income figures for 2018. Total gross disposable household income (GDHI) in the UK in 2018 was £1.4bn. Of that, 86.3% was in England, 7.6% was in Scotland, 3.8% was in Wales and 2.3% was in Northern Ireland.

The average UK income per head after direct and indirect taxes were taken off was £21,109.  England was the only country above the UK average at £21,609 but growth in incomes was best in Scotland and Northern Ireland at 5.1% and 4.7%. England’s growth was the same as the UK at 4.6%; Wales grew by 4.4%.

At a regional level, London had the highest GDHI per head where, on average, each person had £29,362 available to spend or save; the North East had the lowest at £16,995 which compares with a UK average of £21,109. The NW was £18,362.

At a local level, Kensington and Chelsea and Hammersmith and Fulham district had the highest GDHI per head at £63,286 with Nottingham the lowest at £13,138. All the top 10 local areas were in London or the South East with the bottom 10 within the North West, Yorkshire and The Humber, East Midlands, West Midlands, and Northern Ireland regions.

The wealthiest part of the North West was Cheshire East with incomes of £24,524. This ranked the area 28th out of 179 districts of the UK, the highest ranking outside London and the SE of England. The poorest area of the region was Blackburn with Darwen at £13,741, just beating Manchester at £14,864. Blackburn was ranked 177th in the UK, only above Nottingham and Leicester.

In terms of regional growth, the largest increase was in London at 5.2% with the smallest in the East Midlands at 3.6%. NW growth was 4.4%.

At the local level, Kensington & Chelsea and Hammersmith & Fulham was again best in the UK with growth of 7.6% whereas Luton was the worst and only grew by 0.9%.

In the NW, income growth in Greater Manchester South West was top at 6.2% with Manchester second at 5.5% Blackburn beat the UK average with growth of 5% and was ranked 55th out of 179.  Lancaster and Wyre was the worst regional performer with growth of 2.6%, a ranking of 165th.

Labour

More data from the ONS showed unemployment in the region was 12,000 lower at 148,000 between February and April; the drop of 0.3% took the rate to 4.1%. At 5.2% the North East was the highest; Northern Ireland had the lowest rate of 2.3%, with the UK rate at 3.9%.

The South East had the highest employment rate at 79.5% which compared with 75.9% in the NW where 3.5m are employed; the UK rate was 76.4%.

Public sector employment in the NW increased by 1.8% in March to 623,000, which was 17.6% of the workforce. At 25.2% Northern Ireland had the highest level of public sector employment which compared to 13.9% in London which was the lowest.

In March, average earnings in the NW dropped by £11 to £595 per week. London had the highest average earnings of £847 and the lowest average earnings of £537 were recorded in Northern Ireland.

Earnings in the NE increased the most in the UK by £60 per week whereas wages dropped the most by £37 in Scotland.

In the UK overall, average earnings grew by 1.7% or by 0.4% after inflation. If bonuses are included real pay fell by 0.4%.

The public sector saw the highest estimated growth, at 3.2% for regular pay, while negative growth was seen in the construction sector, estimated at negative 1.8%. Both the wholesaling, retailing, hotels and restaurants sector and the manufacturing sector saw very weak growth at 0.1% for regular pay.

Housing

Estimates of private sector rents for the year to March 2020 were published by the ONS this month.

The median monthly rent was an all time high of £700 in England between 1 April 2019 and 31 March 2020. London had the highest median monthly rent at £1,425 with the North East the lowest at £495. Within local authorities the difference in monthly rental price between the most and least expensive was nearly £2,100.

In the NW rental prices ranged from £495 to £725 with £525 the median.

Data for the 12 months to May 2020 showed private rental prices paid by tenants in the UK rose by 1.5%, unchanged from the previous month. Rental prices grew by 1.5% in England, 1.2% in Wales and 0.6% in Scotland.

Rental prices increased the most in the South West, up by 2.5%, with the lowest price growth in the North East at 0.8%, followed by the North West, which increased by 1.0%.

According to the ONS the South West is also projected to have the highest regional rate of growth in households over the next ten years, at 9%. This compares with 5.7% in the NW and 4.3% in the NE (the lowest).

Overall the number of households in England is projected to increase by 1.6m (7.1%) from 23.2m in 2018 to 24.8m in 2028. The NW is forecast to have 3.3m households by 2028.

Given the closure of the housing market following lockdown the ONS has suspended its property price index until further notice.

Job losses begin to mount, incomes in North Yorkshire £8K more than in Hull despite the East Riding posting the best growth

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With the job retention scheme reducing support from 1 August key regional employers have begun scaling back their workforces.

Doncaster based rail refurbishment firm Wabtec could see nearly half its workforce go as demand for its services continues to drop; up to 450 jobs are under threat at the South Yorkshire factory.

Sheffield based, Technicut, which specialises in solid rotary cutting tools for the aerospace industry, has also confirmed it is planning job cuts.

Virgin Money is resuming its bank closure and job loss plans which were put on hold at the start of the coronavirus crisis. Virgin Money will shut 22 branches and merge 30 more into nearby sites, as well as rebranding all Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank branches as Virgin Money.

The Newcastle headquartered bank had previously announced plans to cut 500 jobs and close or merge 52 branches across the country but the programme was suspended with the Covid-19 outbreak. The restructuring will restart in August but due to the panedemic immediate job cuts are 200 fewer than those previously announced. The firm aims to cut c16% of its combined workforce – some 1,500 jobs – following CYBG’s £1.7bn takeover of Virgin Money in 2018.

On the tourist sector, modelling from York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership projects up to 20,000 job losses due to Covid. Last month P&O Ferries announced 122 job losses on the lines between Hull and Zeebrugge and Rotterdam as well as some officers and shore-side staff on the same routes.

Also Leeds City Council is facing a budget overspend of c£200m this year and may cut 415 full-time equivalent jobs.

In a vote of confident in Yorkshire, iconic Harrogate Spring Water will be acquired by the French company Danone after the Competition and Markets Authority approved the deal. Danone already owns the Evian and Volvic brands. The spring water was first bottled in 1740 and the company claims it is the UK’s oldest bottled water company.

The Stats

This month the ONS published regional household disposal income figures for 2018. Total gross disposable household income (GDHI) in the UK in 2018 was £1.4bn. Of that, 86.3% was in England, 7.6% was in Scotland, 3.8% was in Wales and 2.3% was in Northern Ireland.

The average UK income per head after direct and indirect taxes were taken off was £21,109.  England was the only country above the UK average at £21,609 but growth in incomes was best in Scotland and Northern Ireland at 5.1% and 4.7%. England’s growth was the same as the UK at 4.6%; Wales grew by 4.4%.

At a regional level, London had the highest GDHI per head where, on average, each person had £29,362 available to spend or save; the North East had the lowest at £16,995 which compares with a UK average of £21,109. Y&H was £17,665.

At a local level, Kensington and Chelsea and Hammersmith and Fulham district had the highest GDHI per head at £63,286 with Nottingham the lowest at £13,138. All the top 10 local areas were in London or the South East with the bottom 10 within the North West, Yorkshire and The Humber, East Midlands, West Midlands, and Northern Ireland regions.

The wealthiest part of Y&H was North Yorkshire with incomes of £22,354. This ranked the area 44th out of 179 districts of the UK.

The poorest areas of the region were Hull at £14,032, beating Bradford at £15,319. Hull was ranked 176th in the UK, Nottingham and Leicester were bottom.

In terms of regional growth, the largest increase was in London at 5.2% with the smallest in the East Midlands at 3.6%. Y&H growth was 4.5%.

At the local level, Kensington & Chelsea and Hammersmith & Fulham was best again in the UK with growth of 7.6% whereas Luton was the worst and only grew by 0.9%.

In Y&H, income growth in the East Riding of Yorkshire was top at 5.9% with North Yorkshire second at 5.8%. Hull was again the worst regional performer with growth of 2.7%, a ranking of 164th.

Labour

More data from the ONS showed unemployment in the region was 17,000 lower at 106,000 between February and April; the big drop of 0.7% took the rate to 3.9%. Despite narrowing the gap with the West Midlands (4.8%), at 5.2% the North East was still the highest; Northern Ireland had the lowest rate of 2.3%, with the UK rate at 3.9%.

The South East had the highest employment rate at 79.5% which compared with 74.0% in Y&H where 2.6m are employed; the UK rate was 76.4%.

Public sector employment in Y&H increased by 1.5% in March to 469.000, which was 18.1% of the workforce. At 25.2% Northern Ireland had the highest level of public sector employment which compared to 13.9% in London which was the lowest.

In March, average earnings in Y&H increased by £29 to £606 per week. London had the highest average earnings of £847 and the lowest average earnings of £537 were recorded in Northern Ireland.

Earnings in the NE increased the most in the UK by £60 per week whereas the biggest drop in wages was £37 in Scotland.

In the UK overall, average earnings grew by 1.7% or by 0.4% after inflation. If bonuses are included real pay fell by 0.4%.

The public sector saw the highest estimated growth, at 3.2% for regular pay, while negative growth was seen in the construction sector, estimated at negative 1.8%. Both the wholesaling, retailing, hotels and restaurants sector and the manufacturing sector saw very weak growth at 0.1% for regular pay.

Housing

Estimates of private sector rents for the year to March 2020 were published by the ONS this month.

The median monthly rent was an all time high of £700 in England between 1 April 2019 and 31 March 2020. London had the highest median monthly rent at £1,425 with the North East the lowest at £495. Within local authorities the difference in monthly rental price between the most and least expensive was nearly £2,100.

In Y&H rental prices ranged from £450 to £995 with £550 the median.

Data for the 12 months to May 2020 showed private rental prices paid by tenants in the UK rose by 1.5%, unchanged from the previous month. Rental prices grew by 1.5% in England, 1.2% in Wales and 0.6% in Scotland.

Rental prices increased the most in the South West, up by 2.5%, with the lowest price growth in the North East at 0.8%, Y&H recorded 2.2%.

According to the ONS the South West is also projected to have the highest regional rate of growth in households over the next ten years, at 9%. This compares with 5.4% in Y&H and 4.3% in the NE (the lowest).

Overall the number of households in England is projected to increase by 1.6m (7.1%) from 23.2m in 2018 to 24.8m in 2028. Y&H is forecast to have 2.4m households by 2028.

Given the closure of the housing market following lockdown the ONS has suspended its property price index until further notice.

Regional inequality flagged by Solihull and Sandwell, weak growth in Telford and pandemic related job losses mount up

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Administrations and job losses in the region are on the increase as the effects of the pandemic on businesses solidify.

Lee Longlands, a historic Midlands furniture company which was established in 1902 has gone into administration. Its shops in Birmingham, Leamington Spa, Kidderminster, Abingdon, Derby and Cheltenham were closed for three months and have only just re-opened as lockdown restrictions eased.

Up to 80 jobs could be cut at pie manufacturer Wrights. The Crewe based firm started making pies in 1926 but now supplies savoury goods and other products to businesses such as restaurants and bakers. Many of its clients in airline catering and hospitality have either closed or are working at reduced capacity due to the impact of coronavirus. Wrights hopes to avoid compulsory redundancies and has started a 30-day consultation.

Coventry-based car-maker Jaguar Land Rover is set to cut the number of contract-agency workers its employs, following a sales drop. The car-maker has plants across the UK, including Castle Bromwich, Solihull, and Halewood; up to 1,100 temporary roles are at risk.

The Stats

This month the ONS published regional household disposal income figures for 2018. Total gross disposable household income (GDHI) in the UK in 2018 was £1.4bn. Of that, 86.3% was in England, 7.6% was in Scotland, 3.8% was in Wales and 2.3% was in Northern Ireland.

The average UK income per head after direct and indirect taxes were taken off was £21,109.  England was the only country above the UK average at £21,609 but growth in incomes was best in Scotland and Northern Ireland at 5.1% and 4.7%. England’s growth was the same as the UK at 4.6%; Wales grew by 4.4%.

Regionally London had the highest GDHI per head where, on average, each person had £29,362 available to spend or save; the North East had the lowest at £16,995 which compares with a UK average of £21,109. The WM was £18,222.

At a local level, Kensington and Chelsea and Hammersmith and Fulham district had the highest GDHI per head at £63,286 with Nottingham the lowest at £13,138. All the top 10 local areas were in London or the South East with the bottom 10 within the North West, Yorkshire and The Humber, East Midlands, West Midlands, and Northern Ireland regions.

The wealthiest part of the WM was Solihull with incomes of £24,146. This ranked the area 29th out of 179 districts of the UK.

The poorest area of the region was Sandwell at £14,407, beating Birmingham at £15,281. Sandwell was ranked 175th in the UK, Nottingham and Leicester were bottom.

In terms of regional growth, the largest increase was in London at 5.2% with the smallest in the East Midlands at 3.6%. WM growth was 4.7%.

At the local level, Kensington & Chelsea and Hammersmith & Fulham was best again in the UK with growth of 7.6% whereas Luton was the worst and only grew by 0.9%.

In the WM, income growth in Solihull was top at 6.1% with Stoke second at 5.9%. Telford was the worst regional performer with growth of 2.0%, a ranking of 174th.

Labour

More data from the ONS showed unemployment in the region was 7,000 higher at 141,000 between February and April; the uplift of 0.3% took the rate to 4.8%. This narrowed the gap with the North East at 5.2% which was still the highest; Northern Ireland had the lowest rate of 2.3%, with the UK rate at 3.9%.

The South East had the highest employment rate at 79.5% which compared with 74.5% in the WM where 2.8m are employed; the UK rate was 76.4%.

Public sector employment in the WM increased by 1.5% in March to 444.000, which was 16.2% of the workforce. At 25.2% Northern Ireland had the highest level of public sector employment which compared to 13.9% in London which was the lowest.

In March, average earnings in the WM fell by £9 to £586 per week. London had the highest average earnings of £847 and the lowest average earnings of £537 were recorded in Northern Ireland.

Earnings in the NE increased the most in the UK by £60 per week whereas the biggest drop in wages was £37 in Scotland.

In the UK overall, average earnings grew by 1.7% or by 0.4% after inflation. If bonuses are included real pay fell by 0.4%.

The public sector saw the highest estimated growth, at 3.2% for regular pay, while negative growth was seen in the construction sector, estimated at negative 1.8%. Both the wholesaling, retailing, hotels and restaurants sector and the manufacturing sector saw very weak growth at 0.1% for regular pay.

Housing

Estimates of private sector rents for the year to March 2020 were published by the ONS this month.

The median monthly rent was an all time high of £700 in England between 1 April 2019 and 31 March 2020. London had the highest median monthly rent at £1,425 with the North East the lowest at £495. Within local authorities the difference in monthly rental price between the most and least expensive was nearly £2,100.

In the WM rental prices ranged from £525 to £750 with £645 the median.

Data for the 12 months to May 2020 showed private rental prices paid by tenants in the UK rose by 1.5%, unchanged from the previous month. Rental prices grew by 1.5% in England, 1.2% in Wales and 0.6% in Scotland.

Rental prices increased the most in the South West, up by 2.5%, with the lowest price growth in the North East at 0.8%, the WM recorded 2.2%.

According to the ONS the South West is also projected to have the highest regional rate of growth in households over the next ten years, at 9%. This compares with 7.7% in the WM and 4.3% in the NE (the lowest).

Overall the number of households in England is projected to increase by 1.6m (7.1%) from 23.2m in 2018 to 24.8m in 2028. The WM is forecast to have 2.6m households by 2028.

Given the closure of the housing market following lockdown the ONS has suspended its property price index until further notice.