Region makes third biggest economic contribution

THE North West had one of the largest increases in economic output of any part of of the UK last year.

According to data from the Office for National Statistics gross value added (GVA) per head increased by 3.4%.

This was matched only by Wales which was also up by 3.4%.

According to the figures the North West accounted for 9.3% of the UK’s GVA, higher than Scotland (7.7%), Northern Ireland (2.2%) and Wales (3.4%), as well as other English regions such as Yorkshire (6.7%), the West Midlands (7.2%), the South West (7.5%) and the East of England (8.6%). In fact it was the third biggest regional contributor behind London (22%) and the South East (14.9%).

Warrington had the highest GVA per head in the North West at £28,500, followed by Manchester South at £25,950. Liverpool’s figure was £22,600. But the Wirral saw the biggest increase – 7% – between 2012-13. Manchester South has also seen good growth, of 5%, and the data shows it is more economically active than the northern half of the city where GVA grew by 2.1% to £14,375.

West Cumbria has seen the biggest improvement since 2008, just before the recession. Its GVA has increased by 18.3% to £19,000. Blackpool has also seen a big increase of 16.5% to £14,300. Cheshire West and Chester has struggled to get back to pre-recession highs, with its GVA now 5.8% lower at £22,860.

The figures illustrate the stark disparity between the size of London’s economy compared to other parts of the UK. London had the highest GVA per head at £40,215 against Wales on £16,893.

At a sub-regional level, Inner London West was the highest with a GVA per head of £135,888, while the Isle of Anglesey was the lowest at £11,368.

But across London there was the greatest inequality of any region. The difference between the areas with the highest and lowest amounts of economic activity was £121,157. The North East had the least variation with a difference of £7,033.

GVA measures the increase in the value of the economy due to the production of goods and services.