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Booming Greater Birmingham economy outstrips rest of England

Booming Greater Birmingham economy outstrips rest of England

🕔19.Feb 2015

Birmingham’s economy grew by 4.2 per cent between 2012 and 2013, easily the best performance of any major English city outside of London, it has emerged.

The latest Gross Value Added (GVA) figures from the Office of National Statistics show a strong recovery for the area covered by the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership, where the economy grew by 2.5 per cent against a national average of 1.6 per cent.

Economic output across Greater Birmingham in 2013 was £41.3 billion.

The strong performance boosts GBSLEP’s chances of achieving a net increase in growth of at least £8.25 billion by 2020. The LEP is currently a quarter of the way towards reaching the target with seven years to go.

GVA is the Government’s preferred measure of economic output and provides a value for the amount of goods and services that have been produced in the economy, less the cost of all inputs and raw materials that are directly attributable to that production.

While GVA per head was below the national average at £20,969 in 2013, the GBSLEP area is on target to meet its aim of increasing regional GVA per head to achieve the national average by 2020.

The latest news comes on the back of improved economic performance across several key indicators.

Since 2010 businesses in the area have created 43,500 private sector jobs, outperforming the national growth rate and making the GBSLEP region one of the strongest performing LEPs nationally.  Additionally, exports are up by almost 30 per cent over the past two years, making this the best performance for any region in the UK.

GBSLEP is also the top performing English region in terms of attracting overseas trade with direct foreign investments up by 57 per cent in 2013.  Recently Start Up Britain named Birmingham as a ‘start up hotspot’ after the city led the national ranking of the number of start-ups outside of London with 18,337 companies registered in 2014.

Andy Street, GBSLEP chairman, said:  “During the last few years, the GBSLEP and its partners have worked hard to put in place initiatives that create the right economic climate to generate the level of confidence and momentum we need to secure long term growth, and prosperity. Today’s announcement is further demonstration that this strategy is bearing fruit.

“All the key indicators are showing that our performance will continue to improve with many high profile projects set to be completed this year. I am therefore confident that the GBSLEP economy is on track to deliver even more growth in the next 12 months.”

The ONS has also revised the 2012 figures and the data now shows the GBSLEP economy growing by 1.3% for the period 2011–2012, as opposed to the previously reported figure of a -0.9% fall.

Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce chief executive Jerry Blackett commented:  “The high level of growth in productivity within the GBSLEP area is welcome news. There are two areas which are proven to increase productivity, namely improved transport connectivity and a skilled and ambitious workforce. The Chamber is supporting a number of LEP initiatives to improve both, specifically around maximising the positive effect HS2 will have on both regional transport and skills.”

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