Wednesday, June 20, 2018

News: Rotherham's growing consumer economy

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Rotherham's GVA growth has been boosted by a burgeoning consumer economy, recent research has found.

The UK Powerhouse study is produced by Irwin Mitchell and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) and provides an estimate of GVA growth and job creation within 45 of the UK's largest cities 12 months ahead of the Government's official figures.

Rotherham's £4.3 billion a year economy was a top performer in 2017 and for for quarter 4, it continued to grow with a rate of 1.4%, and ranked at 13th, well within the top third of the regional economies in the study.

An update to the study has focused on the consumer sector in the UK, including retail, tourism and leisure, and restaurants and bars, which was worth £400bn in 2017.

The in-depth study includes the Consumer Powerhouse Table where Cebr utilised a range of timely indicators to create a "nowcast" of GVA and employment for the consumer sector in a range of key cities across the UK, and also a forecast for Q4 2018.

Rotherham is ranked 18th in the UK with a 2% growth in GVA in the consumer sector, ahead of the average GVA growth across the areas in the study which was 1.5% annually in Q4 2017.

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Rotherham's annualised GVA in the consumer sector is an estimated at £160m. By comparison, Bristol's £500m consumer economy grew by 3.1% while London's £10 billion consumer economy grew by 0.1%.

GVA, or Growth Value Added, is the increase in the value of the economy due to the production of goods and services. It is widely recognised by Government and policy makers as a measure of local economies.

Rotherham's annualised GVA in the consumer sector is predicted to grow by a further 2% to £170m by the end of 2018.

The borough fairs less well for employment where 13,300 jobs were in the consumer sector at the end of 2017, a drop of -2.5%, one of the biggest in the study. Whilst further GVA growth is predicted the actual number of jobs is predicted to fall again to 13,100.

Victoria Brackett, CEO of Business Legal Services at Irwin Mitchell, said: "The consumer sector is a key driver for economic growth here in the UK and across the world. However, the sector is facing significant disruption at every turn, including digital and technological change."

Brexit, new regulation, changing consumer buyer behaviour and the on-going skills gap are also discussed.

Irwin Mitchell website

Images: Parkgate Shopping

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