Tuesday, July 17, 2018

News: Rotherham economy powers on

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The positive signs for Rotherham's economic growth continued into the first three months of this year, according to recent research.

Rotherham's £4.3 billion a year economy was a top performer in 2017 staying at the top of the UK Powerhouse rankings for GVA growth.

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 46 of the UK's largest cities at least 12 months ahead of the Government's official figures. It uses a range of more timely indicators to create a "nowcast" of GVA and employment for a range of key cities across the UK.

Across quarter three in 2017, Rotherham's GVA was up 1.8% on the same quarter in the previous year. In quarter 4 of 2017, GVA was 1.4% up on the previous year.

The latest figures show that Rotherham's GVA for the first quarter of 2018 is 2.2% up on the same quarter in the previous year.

Again Rotherham is the fastest growing city economy in Yorkshire, placing as the county's highest entrant in the study's GVA rankings. Rotherham is placed at tenth overall where Cambridge tops the table with 2.6% GVA growth year-on-year. Rotherham was ranked as the eighth fastest growing overall in the third quarter of 2017.

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.

Employment levels are also tracked by the study and again, Rotherham's figures are positive. Latest available official figures are from 2016 where the number of jobs in the borough went over 100,000 for the first time in years. The latest CEBR study has the figure for quarter 1 of 2018 at 107,900, a 1.4% increase on last year.

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The study also provides forecasts for the future which estimates that Rotherham's GVA will continue to grow but employment may dip before increasing again.

GVA is predicted to be 1.3% higher at the end of 2018 compared to the end of 2017 and, looking further ahead to 2028, the researchers put Rotherham's GVA at £4.8 billion, up from the £4.3 billion today.

Employment forecasts show a drop from 107,900 to 105,900 in quarter four of 2018 but an increase up to 118,400 by 2028 - another 10,000 jobs being created over the next ten years.

The report points to McLaren Automotive's new building opening on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham "which should also spur on growth looking forward, with Rotherham staying in the top 15 Powerhouse cities for GVA growth towards the end of 2018."

The top three cities for GVA growth in the North are all in Yorkshire – Rotherham, Doncaster, and Wakefield.

Paddy Sturman, partner at Irwin Mitchell, said: "The current situation in Yorkshire looks fairly rosy and in the short term this is expected to continue.

"Leeds has performed particularly strongly for employment growth and this is set to continue until the end of the year. Financial and business services account for 38% of total output in Leeds and so will be behind a large proportion of the employment growth, while the city has a large manufacturing sector that employs over 30,000 people.

"According to our UK Powerhouse study, there are no Yorkshire towns and cities in the top 10 for GVA by the end of 2028. The fact that Northern cities are continuing to fall behind their southern counterparts highlights that much more need for more to be done to ensure Leeds and the wider Northern Powerhouse region can realise its true potential."

Irwin Mitchell website

Images: McLaren

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