The South West pulls out of the first Lockdown the best whilst the West Midlands hit the hardest

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Official ONS figures which reflect the economy opening up after the first lockdown show each regions performance relative to other parts of the UK.

These stats compare GDP in the quarter ended September 2020 with the same quarter a year earlier. Northern Ireland topped the table with growth of -2.9% whilst UK growth over the same period was -7.5%. The West Midlands was bottom, posting growth of -11.3%.

In the same report, the ONS’s figures for the standalone quarter to September 2020 showed the South West was top with quarterly growth of 19.9% whilst London was bottom, posting growth of 13.3%; UK growth was 16.9%.

UK stats

Stats for the UK as a whole are more recent.  UK GDP fell by 1.5% in the three months to March 2021 with GDP growth of 2.1% in March itself. Over the quarter, services fell by 2%, with construction up by 2.6% and production down by 0.4%. GDP has fallen by 8.7% from its pre-pandemic level.

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 the 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.

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

The EU27 rate was at 7.3%. The lowest unemployment rate in April 2021 was 3.1% in Poland and the highest was 15.8% in Greece.

UK inflation was 1.6% in April 2021 with European Union inflation at 2%.

The UK public sector deficit in April 2021 was £31.7bn, £15.6bn less than in April 2020. Debt at the end of April 2021 was £2,171bn which was 98.5% of GDP, the highest ratio since the 99.5% recorded in March 1962.

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