The State of Britain

London or the East Midlands top? The pandemic clouds regional economic performance but it is clear the North West of England wins the productivity prize

Reading Time: 2 minutes

A nowcast for the 12 months ended March 2021 which incorporates the second lockdown, published by the Economic Statistic Centre of Excellence (‘ESCoE’) on a rolling 4 quarter basis, has estimated that the East Midlands performed the ‘best’ with a fall of 9.4%, with Wales’s 13.4% contraction the ‘worst’. The UK overall posted -11.8% on the same measure.

Official ONS figures for an earlier period which reflects a mix of continued recovery from the first lockdown but also a slowdown from the second lockdown show London was the top UK ‘region ‘with quarterly growth of 3.1% whilst the East Midlands was bottom, posting growth of -0.8%. UK growth was 1%.

Productivity

ONS figures also showed that in 2020, output per hour worked increased by 4.6% in the NW which ranked the region top out of the 12 UK ‘regions and fell the most in the West Midlands, decreasing by 1.4%. Output per hour worked in the UK overall increased by 0.4%.

Research and Development

UK R&D spend rose by £1.3bn (3.4%) to £38.5bn in 2019 – the lowest percentage growth since 2013. Most R&D expenditure was in the business sector at £25.9bn (67% of the UK total), followed by the higher education sector at £9.1bn (24%).

Total R&D expenditure represented 1.74% of GDP in 2019; compared with 1.59% in 2008 and 1.72% in 2018. Overseas funding increased by 4.1% to £5.6bn in 2019 compared with 2018; this was 0.8% higher than the peak in 2014 of £5.5bn.

The South East did best and secured £7.5bn of R&D expenditure with the North East only attracting £0.7bn.

UK stats

GDP

ONS stats for the UK as a whole are more recent than those shown at the regional level above.  UK GDP fell by 1.6% in the three months to March 2021. Over that quarter, services fell by 2.1%, with construction up by 2.3% and production down by 0.5%.

Overall GDP has fallen by 8.8% from its pre-pandemic level. Growth in the month of May 2021 was 0.8%.

Overseas, according to Eurostat, GDP decreased by 0.1% in the EU27 during the first quarter of 2021. This meant that annually GDP fell by 1.2% in the EU.

Over that quarter the data showed that the German economy fell by 1.8%, France by 0.1%, with Italy at +0.1%. Annually, Germany contracted by 3.1% and France grew by 1.2% with a 0.8% decline recorded in Italy.

Labour

The UK labour market, supported by the Job Retention Scheme, saw the level of employment at 31.2m in May 2021 and the level of unemployment fall to 1.6m or 4.8%.

The EU27 unemployment rate was at 7.3%. The lowest unemployment rate in May 2021 was 3.3% in both the Czech Republic/Netherlands and the highest was 15.4% in Greece.

Inflation

UK inflation was 2.4% in June 2021 with European Union inflation at 2.2%.

Debt

The UK public sector deficit in June 2021 was £22.8n, £5.5bn less than in June 2020. Debt at the end of June 2021 was £2,218bn which was 99.7% of GDP, the highest ratio since March 1961. EU debt is 98% of GDP.

An impressive increase in the NW’s productivity and house prices rise by 15%

Reading Time: 3 minutes

A nowcast for the NW for the 12 months ended March 2021 which incorporates the second lockdown, published by the Economic Statistic Centre of Excellence (‘ESCoE’) on a rolling 4 quarter basis, has estimated that the NW economy contracted by 12.7%.

This ranked the NW ninth in the UK (previous ranking fifth). Over the same period the East Midlands was ‘best’ with a fall of 9.4%, with Wales’s 13.4% contraction the ‘worst’. The UK overall posted -11.8% on the same measure.

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. This is the last nowcast that will be published by ESCoE with the ONS taking over the running of the model in the future.

ONS GDP to December 2020

Official ONS figures for an earlier period which reflect a mix of continued recovery from the first lockdown but also a slowdown from the second lockdown show the region’s performance relative to other parts of the UK.

The ONS’s figures for the quarter to December 2020 showed the NW post growth of 0.7% compared with 19.3% to September 2020.

This placed the NW seventh (previous ranking third) out of the twelve UK ‘regions’. London was top with quarterly growth of 3.1% whilst the East Midlands was bottom, posting growth of -0.8%. UK growth was 1%.

In this period, the NW’s best sector was financial services at 4.6% whilst accommodation fell by 22.1. Production, Construction and Services were 2.8%, 2.0% and 0.1%.

Labour

Data from the ONS showed the Job Retention Scheme continued to mitigate unemployment across the UK. Unemployment in the region fell by 16,000 to 174,000 between March and May 2021; the drop of 0.4% took the rate to 4.9%. At 6.5% London had the highest rate; 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 77.7%, this compared with 70.3% in Northern Ireland and 73% in the NW where 3.4m are employed; the UK rate was 74.7%.

Public sector employment in the NW increased by 3.2% to 643,000 in the year to March 2021, which was 19% of the workforce. At 25.9% Northern Ireland had the highest level of public sector employment which compared to 14.8% in London which was the lowest.

Productivity

ONS figures also showed that in 2020, output per hour worked increased by 4.6% in the NW which ranked the region top out of the 12 UK ‘regions’. Productivity fell the most in the West Midlands, decreasing by 1.4%. Output per hour worked in the UK increased by 0.4%.

Research and Development

The region attracted £3bn of R&D spend in 2019, similar to 2018. This ranked the NW fourth in the UK (previous ranking fifth). Over the same period the South East did best and secured £7.5bn of R&D expenditure with the North East only attracting £0.7bn.

Overall UK R&D spend rose by £1.3bn (3.4%) to £38.5bn in 2019 – the lowest percentage growth since 2013. Most R&D expenditure was in the business sector at £25.9bn (67% of the UK total), followed by the higher education sector at £9.1bn (24%).

Total R&D expenditure represented 1.74% of GDP in 2019; compared with 1.59% in 2008 and 1.72% in 2018. Overseas funding increased by 4.1% to £5.6bn in 2019 compared with 2018; this was 0.8% higher than the peak in 2014 of £5.5bn.

Housing

The NW’s average property price increased by 1.4% in May to £143,129. The uplift took the annual increase to 15.2%. In comparison, UK prices grew by 0.9% to £254,624, an annual growth rate of 10%.

The WM’s productivity falls the most in the UK, a drop in the region’s R&D spending and the WM economy copes less well with the pandemic than other UK regions

Reading Time: 3 minutes

A nowcast for the WM for the 12 months ended March 2021 which incorporates the second lockdown, published by the Economic Statistic Centre of Excellence (‘ESCoE’) on a rolling 4 quarter basis, has estimated that the WM economy contracted by 12.9%.

This ranked the WM tenth in the UK (previous ranking tenth). Over the same period the East Midlands was ‘best’ with a fall of 9.4%, with Wales’s 13.4% contraction the ‘worst’. The UK overall posted -11.8% on the same measure.

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. This is the last nowcast that will be published by ESCoE with the ONS taking over the running of the model in the future.

ONS GDP to December 2020

Official ONS figures for an earlier period which reflect a mix of continued recovery from the first lockdown but also a slowdown from the second lockdown show the region’s performance relative to other parts of the UK.

The ONS’s figures for the quarter to December 2020 showed the WM post growth of -0.3% compared with 16.8% to September 2020.

This placed the WM eleventh (previous ranking seventh) out of the twelve UK ‘regions’. London was top with quarterly growth of 3.1% whilst the East Midlands was bottom, posting growth of -0.8%. UK growth was 1%.

In this period, the WM’s best sector was mining at 7.1% whilst accommodation fell by 21.4. Production, Construction and Services were 0.2%, -3% and -0.2%.

Labour

Data from the ONS showed the Job Retention Scheme continued to mitigate unemployment across the UK. Unemployment in the region fell by 3,000 to 168,000 between March and May 2021; the drop of 0.2% took the rate to 5.7%. At 6.5% London had the highest rate; 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 77.7%, this compared with 70.3% in Northern Ireland and 74% in the WM where 2.8m are employed; the UK rate was 74.7%.

Public sector employment in the WM increased by 4% to 461,000 in the year to March 2021, which was 17.1% of the workforce. At 25.9% Northern Ireland had the highest level of public sector employment which compared to 14.8% in London which was the lowest.

Productivity

ONS figures also showed that in 2020, output per hour worked fell by 1.4% in the WM which ranked the region bottom out of the 12 UK ‘regions’. Productivity growth in 2019 was best in the North West, increasing by 4.6%; overall output per hour worked in the UK increased by 0.4%.

Research and Development

The region attracted £2.9bn of R&D spend in 2019, down from £3.3bn in 2018. This ranked the WM fifth in the UK (previous ranking fourth). Over the same period the South East did best and secured £7.5bn of R&D expenditure with the North East only attracting £0.7bn.

Overall UK R&D spend rose by £1.3bn (3.4%) to £38.5bn in 2019 – the lowest percentage growth since 2013. Most R&D expenditure was in the business sector at £25.9bn (67% of the UK total), followed by the higher education sector at £9.1bn (24%).

Total R&D expenditure represented 1.74% of GDP in 2019; compared with 1.59% in 2008 and 1.72% in 2018. Overseas funding increased by 4.1% to £5.6bn in 2019 compared with 2018; this was 0.8% higher than the peak in 2014 of £5.5bn.

Housing

The WM’s average property price increased by 0.8% in May to £219,793. The uplift took the annual increase to 9.8%. In comparison, UK prices grew by 0.9% to £254,624, an annual growth rate of 10%.

Y&H’s productivity goes into reverse and the second lockdown stalls the region’s recovery

Reading Time: 3 minutes

A nowcast for Y&H for the 12 months ended March 2021 which incorporates the second lockdown, published by the Economic Statistic Centre of Excellence (‘ESCoE’) on a rolling 4 quarter basis, has estimated that the Y&H economy contracted by 11%.

This ranked Y&H fifth in the UK (previous ranking eighth). Over the same period the East Midlands was ‘best’ with a fall of 9.4%, with Wales’s 13.4% contraction the ‘worst’. The UK overall posted -11.8% on the same measure.

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. This is the last nowcast that will be published by ESCoE with the ONS taking over the running of the model in the future.

ONS GDP to December 2020

Official ONS figures for an earlier period which reflect a mix of continued recovery from the first lockdown but also a slowdown from the second lockdown show the region’s performance relative to other parts of the UK.

The ONS’s figures for the quarter to December 2020 showed Y&H post growth of 0.4% compared with 19.2% in July to September 2020.

This placed Y&H ninth (previous ranking fourth) out of the twelve UK ‘regions’. London was top with quarterly growth of 3.1% whilst the East Midlands was bottom, posting growth of -0.8%. UK growth was 1%.

In this period, Y&H’s best sector was information at 3.8% whilst accommodation fell by 12.8. Production, Construction and Services were 1.8%, 5.4 and -0.5%.

Labour

Data from the ONS showed the Job Retention Scheme continued to mitigate unemployment across the UK. Unemployment in the region was 5,000 lower at 135,000 between March and May 2021; the drop of 0.2% took the rate to 5.0%. At 6.5% London had the highest rate; 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 77.7%, this compared with 70.3% in Northern Ireland and 72.9% in Y&H where 2.5m are employed; the UK rate was 74.7%.

Public sector employment in Y&H increased by 3% to 483,000 in the year to March 2021, which was 19% of the workforce. At 25.9% Northern Ireland had the highest level of public sector employment which compared to 14.8% in London which was the lowest.

Productivity

ONS figures also showed that in 2020, output per hour worked fell by 0.9% in Y&H which ranked the region 11th out of the 12 UK ‘regions’. Productivity growth in 2019 was best in the North West, increasing by 4.6%, and fell the most in the West Midlands, decreasing by 1.4%. Output per hour worked in the UK increased by 0.4%.

Research and Development

The region attracted £1.8bn of R&D spend in 2019, up from £1.7bn in 2018. This ranked Y&H ninth in the UK (previously ranking also ninth). Over the same period the South East did best and secured £7.5bn of R&D expenditure with the North East only attracting £0.7bn.

Overall UK R&D spend rose by £1.3bn (3.4%) to £38.5bn in 2019 – the lowest percentage growth since 2013. Most R&D expenditure was in the business sector at £25.9bn (67% of the UK total), followed by the higher education sector at £9.1bn (24%).

Total R&D expenditure represented 1.74% of GDP in 2019; compared with 1.59% in 2008 and 1.72% in 2018. Overseas funding increased by 4.1% to £5.6bn in 2019 compared with 2018; this was 0.8% higher than the peak in 2014 of £5.5bn.

Housing

Y&H’s average property price increased by 0.8% in May to £181,856. The uplift took the annual increase to 10.2%. In comparison, UK prices grew by 0.9% to £254,624, an annual growth rate of 10%.

The second lockdown hits the Welsh economy the hardest but unemployment remain low

Reading Time: 3 minutes

A nowcast for Wales for the 12 months ended March 2021 which incorporates the second lockdown, published by the Economic Statistic Centre of Excellence (‘ESCoE’) on a rolling 4 quarter basis, has estimated that the country’s economy contracted by 13.4%.

This ranked Wales bottom in the UK (previous ranking eleventh). Over the same period the East Midlands was ‘best’ with a fall of 9.4%, with Wales’s 13.4% contraction the ‘worst’. The UK overall posted -11.8% on the same measure.

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. This is the last nowcast that will be published by ESCoE with the ONS taking over the running of the model in the future.

ONS GDP to December 2020

Official ONS figures for an earlier period which reflect a mix of continued recovery from the first lockdown but also a slowdown from the second lockdown show the country’s performance relative to other parts of the UK.

The ONS’s figures for the quarter to December 2020 showed Wales post growth of 0.9% compared with 14.4% to September 2020.

This placed Wales sixth (previous ranking eleventh) out of the twelve UK ‘regions’. London was top with quarterly growth of 3.1% whilst the East Midlands was bottom, posting growth of -0.8%. UK growth was 1%.

In this period, Wales’s best sector was administration services at 8.5% whilst accommodation fell by 19%. Overall Production, Construction and Services were -0.6%, -0.1% and 1.3%.

Labour

Data from the ONS showed the Job Retention Scheme continued to mitigate unemployment across the UK. Unemployment in Wales fell by 16,000 to 59,000 between March and May 2021; the drop of 1% took the rate to 3.9%. At 6.5% London had the highest rate; 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 77.7%, this compared with 70.3% in Northern Ireland and 73.6% in Wales where 1.5m are employed; the UK rate was 74.7%.

Public sector employment in Wales increased by 4.6% to 311,000 in the year to March 2021, which was 22.2% of the workforce. At 25.9% Northern Ireland had the highest level of public sector employment which compared to 14.8% in London which had the lowest.

Productivity

ONS figures also showed that in 2020, output per hour worked increased by 0.3% in Wales which ranked the country seventh out of the 12 UK ‘regions’. Productivity growth in 2019 was best in the North West, increasing by 4.6%. and fell the most in the West Midlands, decreasing by 1.4%. Output per hour worked in the UK increased by 0.4%.

Research and Development

Wales attracted £0.8bn of R&D spend in 2019, the same as 2018. This ranked Wales eleventh in the UK (previous ranking tenth). Over the same period the South East did best and secured £7.5bn of R&D expenditure with the North East only attracting £0.7bn.

Overall UK R&D spend rose by £1.3bn (3.4%) to £38.5bn in 2019 – the lowest percentage growth since 2013. Most R&D expenditure was in the business sector at £25.9bn (67% of the UK total), followed by the higher education sector at £9.1bn (24%).

Total R&D expenditure represented 1.74% of GDP in 2019; compared with 1.59% in 2008 and 1.72% in 2018. Overseas funding increased by 4.1% to £5.6bn in 2019 compared with 2018; this was 0.8% higher than the peak in 2014 of £5.5bn.

Housing

Wales’s average property price increased by 0.8% in May to £184,297. The uplift took the annual increase to 13.3%. In comparison, UK prices grew by 0.9% to £254,624, an annual growth rate of 10%.

The SW economy weathers the second lockdown better than most other UK regions

Reading Time: 3 minutes

A nowcast for the SW for the 12 months ended March 2021 which incorporates the second lockdown, published by the Economic Statistic Centre of Excellence (‘ESCoE’) on a rolling 4 quarter basis, has estimated that the SW economy contracted by 9.7%.

This ranked the SW second in the UK (previous ranking third). Over the same period the East Midlands was ‘best’ with a fall of 9.4%, with Wales’s 13.4% contraction the ‘worst’. The UK overall posted -11.8% on the same measure.

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. This is the last nowcast that will be published by ESCoE with the ONS taking over the running of the model in the future.

ONS GDP to December 2020

Official ONS figures for an earlier period which reflect a mix of continued recovery from the first lockdown but also a slowdown from the second lockdown show the region’s performance relative to other parts of the UK.

The ONS’s figures for the quarter to December 2020 showed the SW post growth of 0.2% compared with 19.9% to September 2020.

This placed the SW tenth (previous ranking first) out of the twelve UK ‘regions’. London was top with quarterly growth of 3.1% whilst the East Midlands was bottom, posting growth of -0.8%. UK growth was 1%.

In this period, the SW’s best sector was manufacturing at 3.7% whilst accommodation fell by 19.8%. Production, Construction and Services were 2.8%, 2.9% and -0.5%.

Labour

Data from the ONS showed the Job Retention Scheme continued to mitigate unemployment across the UK. Unemployment in the region fell by 10,000 to 103,000 between March and May 2021; the drop of 0.4% took the rate to 3.7%. At 6.5% London had the highest rate; 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 77.7%, this compared with 70.3% in Northern Ireland and 77% in the SW where 2.7m are employed; the UK rate was 74.7%.

Public sector employment in the SW increased by 4.1% to 465,000 in the year to March 2021, which was 17.2% of the workforce. At 25.9% Northern Ireland had the highest level of public sector employment which compared to 14.8% in London which was the lowest.

Productivity

ONS figures also showed that in 2020, output per hour worked grew by 1.9% in the SW which ranked the region fourth out of the 12 UK ‘regions’. Productivity growth in 2019 was best in the North West, increasing by 4.6%. and fell the most in the West Midlands, decreasing by 1.4%. Output per hour worked in the UK increased by 0.4%.

Research and Development

The region attracted £2.6bn of R&D spend in 2019, up from £2.5bn in 2018. This ranked the SW seventh in the UK (previous ranking seventh). Over the same period the South East did best and secured £7.5bn of R&D expenditure with the North East only attracting £0.7bn.

Overall UK R&D spend rose by £1.3bn (3.4%) to £38.5bn in 2019 – the lowest percentage growth since 2013. Most R&D expenditure was in the business sector at £25.9bn (67% of the UK total), followed by the higher education sector at £9.1bn (24%).

Total R&D expenditure represented 1.74% of GDP in 2019; compared with 1.59% in 2008 and 1.72% in 2018. Overseas funding increased by 4.1% to £5.6bn in 2019 compared with 2018; this was 0.8% higher than the peak in 2014 of £5.5bn.

Housing

The SW’s average property price fell by 0.6% in May to £277,063. The drop took the annual increase to 8.4%. In comparison, UK prices grew by 0.9% to £254,624, an annual growth rate of 10%.

The SE retains its R&D top spot and the UK’s highest level of employment

Reading Time: 3 minutes

A nowcast for the SE for the 12 months ended March 2021 which incorporates the second lockdown, published by the Economic Statistic Centre of Excellence (‘ESCoE’) on a rolling 4 quarter basis, has estimated that the SE economy contracted by 12.2%.

This ranked the SE seventh in the UK (previous ranking seventh). Over the same period the East Midlands was ‘best’ with a fall of 9.4%, with Wales’s 13.4% contraction the ‘worst’. The UK overall posted -11.8% on the same measure.

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. This is the last nowcast that will be published by ESCoE with the ONS taking over the running of the model in the future.

ONS GDP to December 2020

Official ONS figures for an earlier period which reflect a mix of continued recovery from the first lockdown but also a slowdown from the second lockdown show the region’s performance relative to other parts of the UK.

The ONS’s figures for the quarter to December 2020 showed the SE post growth of 1% compared with 19.1% in the quarter to September 2020.

This placed the SE fifth (previous ranking fifth) out of the twelve UK ‘regions’. London was top with quarterly growth of 3.1% whilst the East Midlands was bottom, posting growth of -0.8%. UK growth was 1%.

In this period, the SE’s best sector was manufacturing at 6.7% whilst accommodation fell by 16.3. Overall Production, Construction and Services were 5.2%, 1.1% and 0.4%.

Labour

Data from the ONS showed the Job Retention Scheme continued to mitigate unemployment across the UK. Unemployment in the region increased by 35,000 to 195,000 between March and May 2021; the uplift of 0.7% took the rate to 4.1%. At 6.5% London 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 77.7%, this compared with 70.3% in Northern Ireland which was the lowest; the UK rate was 74.7%.

Public sector employment in the SE increased by 4.9% to 676,000 in the year to March 2021, which was 15.5% of the workforce. At 25.9% Northern Ireland had the highest level of public sector employment which compared to 14.8% in London which was the lowest.

Productivity

ONS figures also showed that in 2020, output per hour worked grew by 0.8% in the SE which ranked the region sixth out of the 12 UK ‘regions’. Productivity growth in 2019 was best in the North West, increasing by 4.6%. and fell the most in the West Midlands, decreasing by 1.4%. Output per hour worked in the UK increased by 0.4%.

Research and Development

The region attracted £7.5bn of R&D spend in 2019, up from £7.1bn in 2018. This ranked the SE first in the UK (previous ranking first). Over the same period the North East only attracted £0.7bn.

Overall UK R&D spend rose by £1.3bn (3.4%) to £38.5bn in 2019 – the lowest percentage growth since 2013. Most R&D expenditure was in the business sector at £25.9bn (67% of the UK total), followed by the higher education sector at £9.1bn (24%).

Total R&D expenditure represented 1.74% of GDP in 2019; compared with 1.59% in 2008 and 1.72% in 2018. Overseas funding increased by 4.1% to £5.6bn in 2019 compared with 2018; this was 0.8% higher than the peak in 2014 of £5.5bn.

Housing

The SE’s average property price increased by 1.4% in May to £350,016. The uplift took the annual increase to 9.1%. In comparison, UK prices grew by 0.9% to £254,624, an annual growth rate of 10%.

A disappointing drop in Scottish productivity and the second lockdown dampens a positive bounce back

Reading Time: 3 minutes

A nowcast for Scotland for the 12 months ended March 2021 which incorporates the second lockdown, published by the Economic Statistic Centre of Excellence (‘ESCoE’) on a rolling 4 quarter basis, has estimated that the country’s economy contracted by 11%.

This ranked Scotland fourth in the UK (previous ranking second). Over the same period the East Midlands was ‘best’ with a fall of 9.4%, with Wales’s 13.4% contraction the ‘worst’. The UK overall posted -11.8% on the same measure.

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. This is the last nowcast that will be published by ESCoE with the ONS taking over the running of the model in the future.

ONS GDP to December 2020

Official ONS figures for an earlier period which reflect a mix of continued recovery from the first lockdown but also a slowdown from the second lockdown show the country’s performance relative to other parts of the UK.

The ONS’s figures for the quarter to December 2020 showed Scotland post growth of 2.3% compared with 15.8% to September 2020.

This placed Scotland second (previous ranking eighth) out of the twelve UK ‘regions’. London was top with quarterly growth of 3.1% whilst the East Midlands was bottom, posting growth of -0.8%. UK growth was 1%.

Labour

Data from the ONS showed the Job Retention Scheme continued to mitigate unemployment across the UK. Unemployment in Scotland fell by 7,000 to 121,000 between March and May 2021; the drop of 0.2% took the rate to 4.4%. At 6.5% London 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 77.7%, this compared with 70.3% in Northern Ireland and 74% in Scotland where 2.6m are employed; the UK rate was 74.7%.

Public sector employment in Scotland increased by 3% to 579,000 in the year to March 2021, which was 22% of the workforce. At 25.9% Northern Ireland had the highest level of public sector employment which compared to 14.8% in London which was the lowest.

Productivity

ONS figures also showed that in 2020, output per hour worked fell by 0.2% in Scotland which ranked the country eighth out of the 12 UK ‘regions’. Productivity growth in 2019 was best in the North West, increasing by 4.6% and fell the most in the West Midlands, decreasing by 1.4%. Output per hour worked in the UK increased by 0.4%.

Research and Development

Scotland attracted £2.8bn of R&D spend in 2019, up from £2.7bn in 2018. This ranked Scotland sixth in the UK (previous ranking sixth). Over the same period the South East did best and secured £7.5bn of R&D expenditure with the North East only attracting £0.7bn.

Overall UK R&D spend rose by £1.3bn (3.4%) to £38.5bn in 2019 – the lowest percentage growth since 2013. Most R&D expenditure was in the business sector at £25.9bn (67% of the UK total), followed by the higher education sector at £9.1bn (24%).

Total R&D expenditure represented 1.74% of GDP in 2019; compared with 1.59% in 2008 and 1.72% in 2018. Overseas funding increased by 4.1% to £5.6bn in 2019 compared with 2018; this was 0.8% higher than the peak in 2014 of £5.5bn.

Housing

Scotland’s average property price increased by 5.4% in May to £171,448. The uplift took the annual increase to 12.1%. In comparison, UK prices grew by 0.9% to £254,624, an annual growth rate of 10%.

Unemployment unchanged but the NE one of five UK regions to suffer a decrease in productivity

Reading Time: 3 minutes

A nowcast for the NE for the 12 months ended March 2021 which incorporates the second lockdown, published by the Economic Statistic Centre of Excellence (‘ESCoE’) on a rolling 4 quarter basis, has estimated that the NE economy contracted by 12.6%.

This ranked the NE eighth in the UK (previous ranking sixth). Over the same period the East Midlands was ‘best’ with a fall of 9.4%, with Wales’s 13.4% contraction the ‘worst’. The UK overall posted -11.8% on the same measure.

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. This is the last nowcast that will be published by ESCoE with the ONS taking over the running of the model in the future.

ONS GDP to December 2020

Official ONS figures for an earlier period which reflect a mix of continued recovery from the first lockdown but also a slowdown from the second lockdown show the region’s performance relative to other parts of the UK.

The ONS’s figures for the quarter to December 2020 showed the NE post growth of 1.6% compared with 15.7% to September 2020.

This placed the NE third (previous ranking ninth) out of the twelve UK ‘regions’. London was top with quarterly growth of 3.1% whilst the East Midlands was bottom, posting growth of -0.8%. UK growth was 1%.

In this period, the NE’s best sector was transport at 9.3% whilst accommodation fell by 21.2. Production, Construction and Services were 5.4%, 1.8% and 0.6%.

Labour

Data from the ONS showed the Job Retention Scheme continued to mitigate unemployment across the UK. Unemployment in the region was unchanged at 75,000 between March and May 2021; which left the rate at 5.8%. At 6.5% London 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 77.7%, this compared with 70.3% in Northern Ireland and 72% in the NE where 1.2m are employed; the UK rate was 74.7%.

Public sector employment in the NE increased by 3% to 243,000 in the year to March 2021, which was 21% of the workforce. At 25.9% Northern Ireland had the highest level of public sector employment which compared to 14.8% in London which was the lowest.

Productivity

ONS figures also showed that in 2020, output per hour worked fell by 0.6% in the NE which ranked the region ninth out of the 12 UK ‘regions’. Productivity growth in 2019 was best in the North West, increasing by 4.6%, and fell the most in the West Midlands, decreasing by 1.4%. Output per hour worked in the UK increased by 0.4%.

Research and Development

The region attracted £0.7bn of R&D spend in 2019, similar to 2018. This ranked the NE twelfth in the UK (previously ranking eleventh). Over the same period the South East did best and secured £7.5bn of R&D expenditure.

Overall UK R&D spend rose by £1.3bn (3.4%) to £38.5bn in 2019 – the lowest percentage growth since 2013. Most R&D expenditure was in the business sector at £25.9bn (67% of the UK total), followed by the higher education sector at £9.1bn (24%).

Total R&D expenditure represented 1.74% of GDP in 2019; compared with 1.59% in 2008 and 1.72% in 2018. Overseas funding increased by 4.1% to £5.6bn in 2019 compared with 2018; this was 0.8% higher than the peak in 2014 of £5.5bn.

Housing

The NE’s average property price increased by 1.4% in May to £143,129. The uplift took the annual increase to 11.8%. In comparison, UK prices grew by 0.9% to £254,624, an annual growth rate of 10%.

Unemployment in the capital still the UK’s highest and London’s strong economic bounce back in 2020 curtailed by the second lockdown

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A nowcast for London for the 12 months ended March 2021 which incorporates the second lockdown, published by the Economic Statistic Centre of Excellence (‘ESCoE’) on a rolling 4 quarter basis, has estimated that the capital’s economy contracted by 13.1%.

This ranked the city eleventh in the UK (previous ranking twelfth). Over the same period the East Midlands was ‘best’ with a fall of 9.4%, with Wales’s 13.4% contraction the ‘worst’. The UK overall posted -11.8% on the same measure.

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. This is the last nowcast that will be published by ESCoE with the ONS taking over the running of the model in the future.

ONS GDP to December 2020

Official ONS figures for an earlier period which reflect a mix of continued recovery from the first lockdown but also a slowdown from the second lockdown show the city’s performance relative to other parts of the UK.

The ONS’s figures for the quarter to December 2020 showed London post growth of 3.1% compared with 13.3% to September 2020.

This placed London top (previous ranking bottom) out of the twelve UK ‘regions’ with the East Midlands last, posting growth of -0.8%. UK growth was 1%.

In this period, London’s best sector was information services at 8.6% whilst accommodation fell by 15. Overall Production, Construction and Services were 0.4%, 3.4% and 3.1%.

Labour

Data from the ONS showed the Job Retention Scheme continued to mitigate unemployment across the UK. Unemployment in the city fell by 38,000 to 330,000 between March and May 2021; the drop of 0.7% took the rate to 6.5%. At 6.5% London 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 77.7%, this compared with 70.3% in Northern Ireland and 74.5% in the capital where 3.1m are employed; the UK rate was 74.7%.

Public sector employment in London increased by 4.3% to 780,000 in the year to March 2021, which was 14.8% of the workforce and the lowest in the UK. At 25.9% Northern Ireland had the highest level of public sector employment.

Productivity

ONS figures also showed that in 2020, output per hour worked grew by 2.7% in London which ranked the city third out of the 12 UK ‘regions’. Productivity growth in 2019 was best in the North West, increasing by 4.6% and fell the most in the West Midlands, decreasing by 1.4%. Output per hour worked in the UK overall increased by 0.4%.

Research and Development

The city attracted £6.4bn of R&D spend in 2019, up from £6bn in 2018. This ranked London third in the UK (previous ranking third). Over the same period the South East did best and secured £7.5bn of R&D expenditure with the North East only attracting £0.7bn.

Overall UK R&D spend rose by £1.3bn (3.4%) to £38.5bn in 2019 – the lowest percentage growth since 2013. Most R&D expenditure was in the business sector at £25.9bn (67% of the UK total), followed by the higher education sector at £9.1bn (24%).

Total R&D expenditure represented 1.74% of GDP in 2019; compared with 1.59% in 2008 and 1.72% in 2018. Overseas funding of R&D increased by 4.1% to £5.6bn in 2019 compared with 2018; this was 0.8% higher than the peak in 2014 of £5.5bn.

Housing

The city’s average property price fell by 0.7% in May to £497,948. The drop took the annual increase to 5.2%. In comparison, UK prices grew by 0.9% to £254,624, an annual growth rate of 10%.