Monday, November 12, 2018

News: Rotherham back as Yorkshire's fastest growing economy

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Rotherham had the fastest growing economy in the Yorkshire region in the second quarter of 2018 according to recent research, with growth ahead of the UK average.

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.

In the latest study, Rotherham is ranked 17th for year on year GVA growth - the top ranked Yorkshire economy and the third ranked Northern economy behind Stockport and Manchester.

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.

For Rotherham, GVA in Q2 of 2018 (July, August, September) was 2.3% up on the same quarter in the previous year. This compares to a 1.8% increase seen in Q3 of 2017, 1.4% in Q4 of 2017 and an increase of 2.2% in Q1 of 2018.

On average, across the economies in the study, GVA annual growth was 2.1% in Q2 2018.

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The study also tracks employment, with Rotherham ranked 20th with overall job numbers growing by 1.4% in the year to an estimated 107,000.

Forecasts for the future are also included in the study which estimate that Rotherham's GVA growth in Q2 of 2019 - the three months after the scheduled date of leaving the EU - is expected to fall from 2.3% to 1.2%. Job growth is also predicted to slow to 1.1% with 108,200 total jobs predicted in Q2 2019.

Dorrien Peters, partner and head of business legal services at Irwin Mitchell in Sheffield, said: "These figures reveal that the departure from the EU will coincide with a slowdown in the level of economic growth in South Yorkshire.

"The UK will ultimately be responsible for managing and securing its own trade deals and though there are clear opportunities, these will have to be balanced alongside the short term risks which will be realised shortly after the UK's official departure.

"One thing that the last decade has taught us is that despite the hugely disruptive force of the financial crisis, the UK economy has been incredibly resilient. It is vital that we tackle the challenges head on and take advantage of the new opportunities that emerge.

"The UK is a global powerhouse and the South Yorkshire region contributes significantly to this. We need to stay positive and work together to ensure this remains to be the case."

The study shows that growth in the North is often concentrated in cities that are already well-established. This is in contrast to the regions in southern England, where economic activity has seen expansion into other cities in the area, supported by growing transport links.

Irwin Mitchell website

Images: Rotherham Pioneers

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