Latest regional GDP figures: ‘levelling up’ has its work cut out

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Over recent months, CLES has also been tracking the growth figures for our regions and nations, with recent results making for depressing reading.

The release this week of the Q2 regional figures for 2019 highlights the continuation of this trend, stressing, once again, the need for government to substantiate its rhetoric around ‘levelling up’ with serious step change in action

North East, North West, West Midlands, South East, and South West have all seen negative growth in Q2 of 2019. The North West and the West Midlands have fared the worst.

In terms of the broader picture, whilst the British economy as a whole continues to avoid recession, (latest ONS figures released today show that Q4 of 2019 saw 0% growth across the UK) – at a regional level, 7 out of the 13 UK regions and nations have experienced instances of technical recession since 2015, defined as 2 or more consecutive quarters of negative growth.

Drilling down into these figures, a technical recession was experienced in:

  • the south east, Q3-Q4 2015;
  • the west midlands, Q4 2016 – Q1 2017;
  • the south west, Q3-Q4 2016 and Q1-Q2 2018;
  • Northern Ireland, Q2-Q3 2017;
  • the north east, Q2-Q3 2016;
  • east of England, Q1-Q2 2018;
  • Yorkshire and the Humber, Q1-Q2 2015.

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