REGIONAL GROWTH ACROSS THE NORTH WEST
- GDP grew by 0.8 per cent in the second quarter of 2014.
- This means that the UK economy is now 0.2 per cent above its pre-crisis peak in Q1 2008, after the recession shrank the economy by 7.2 per cent.
- Quarterly growth was driven mainly by the service sector (1.0 per cent) and manufacturing (which was weaker at 0.2 per cent). These two sectors combined make up 88 per cent of the UK economy.
- On the same quarter a year ago, each of the main sectors grew by more than 3%. This is the first time this has happened in 14 years (2000Q1).
- Construction has increased 4.2% on a year ago compared to 3.3% for services
- Manufacturing is up 3.3% on a year ago, same as services
- Today’s figures back the IMF’s assessment yesterday that the UK will be the fastest growing major advanced economy in 2014. The IMF upgraded their 2014 growth forecast for the UK by more than any other major economy.
Chancellor George Osborne said:
“Thanks to the hard work of the British people, today we reach a major milestone in our long term economic plan.
“But there is still a long way to go – the Great Recession was one of the deepest of any major economy and cost Britain six years.
“Now we owe it to hardworking taxpayers not to repeat the mistakes of the past and instead to continue with the plan that is delivering economic security and a brighter future for all.”
STATE OF THE REGION AT A GLANCE
- More than 3.2 million people are now in jobs in the North West – an increase of nearly 87,000 since 2010
- More than 7,400 people have got jobs through the Regional Growth Fund
- North West private sector employment: Private sector employment is up 44,000 since 2010.
- 56,000 more females in employment under this government.
- Youth Claimant Count: down 22,400 since 2010.
- More than 314,300 apprenticeships have been created since 2010 – more than anywhere else in the country.
- More than a third (35.6%) applied to go into Higher Education in 2012/13 – the highest rate in England outside of London.
- In the North West 277 more academies and 20 free schools have opened since the election 13,813 more school places have been created since 2010.
- More than a fifth of all vehicles (325,000) produced by the UK automotive industry last year came from the North West
- More than 12,500 jobs have been secured in the North West thanks to foreign investments over the past year, including 5,689 new jobs
- The number of people taken out of tax in the North West since 2010 is 343,000
- By 2015, 2,810,000 people in the North West will benefit from increased personal allowance
- Edwin Booth, Chair of the Booths supermarket chain and Lancashire’s Local Enterprise Partnership:
“Here in Lancashire, the LEP is working hard to create the right conditions for businesses to thrive and we have been seeing positive signs of economic recovery for some time now. As well as these latest GDP figures, just this week figures from UKTI showed that foreign investment in the county secured nearly 2,000 jobs in 2013/14, which shows that international businesses share our confidence.
“With major investment in the county through the Lancashire Growth Deal and the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal recently announced, and significant infrastructure projects such as the M6 to Heysham link road now underway, the future for the Lancashire economy looks very bright.”
- George Beveridge, Deputy Managing Director of Sellafield Ltd and Chair of the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership:
“The economic recovery, coupled with targeted investment programmes such as the Regional Growth Fund, has brought about record levels of employment in Cumbria.
“Confidence within the business community is growing and will be boosted further by the recently announced Growth Deal for Cumbria, which will unlock even more opportunity for local businesses and people.”
- Mike Blackburn, BT’s Regional Director for the North West and Chair of Greater Manchester’s Local Enterprise Partnership, said:
“It’s encouraging to see that the economy is back on track and we’re especially pleased that UK GDP has now surpassed its pre-recession peak. The challenge for the country as a whole will be to ensure that this momentum continues.
“At a regional level there are still some major challenges to address, not least around skills and employment. We need to ensure that Greater Manchester continues to get investment for new jobs from national projects and funds that are designed to boost the UK economy, such as the Local Growth Fund and HS2. In addition, retaining a solid skills base will be paramount.
“These are both priority areas that we are seeking to address in the delivery of Greater Manchester’s growth and reform plan.”
- Robert Hough, Chair of Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership:
“Liverpool City Region has recorded a strong economic performance over recent years and these latest GDP figures underline the progress being made to deliver sustainable economic growth across the City Region.
“Having just secured £232million funding from Government we will be focusing our efforts on delivering the City Region Local Growth Plan, especially around the potential of the city centre and the development of a Freight and Logistics Hub for the city region.
“Our ambitions include being a key centre for Low Carbon Energy generation and development, alongside initiatives such as the recently announced Sensor City University Enterprise Zone.”
- Christine Gaskell, Chair of the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership:
“It is vital that the whole country shares in the economic recovery. In Cheshire and Warrington, we are seeing real signs of increased levels of business activity which in turn will lead to more jobs for our workforce.
“From GM Vauxhall announcing 300 new employees at Ellesmere Port to small business start-ups in the service sector, there is a growing wave of optimism in our economy.
“The Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership will continue to invest in those opportunities that make our sub-region 871 square miles of opportunity, innovation and growth.”
- Graeme McLaren, Sales Manager at United Automation Ltd in Southport which manufacturers power controls for a wide range of electrical equipment, including heating and air conditioning:
“We’ve definitely been feeling a big increase in confidence recently, and the economy feels a lot more buoyant than it has done for a long time.
“People wouldn’t buy stock up front during the downturn or keep it on their shelves, but that’s all changing now and we’ve been able to invest in developing new products. We’re also hoping we’ll be able to take on two new graduates later in the year
“Our range of controls for outdoor heating used by pubs and restaurants has had a massive increase in demand recently, so that shows the hospitality industry must be noticing the upturn as well.
“It definitely feels like UK manufacturing is in a great place at the moment. It’s all about letting people know we actually build things in this country.”
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