Promising indications from our January 2020 Quarterly Economic Commentary for the Midlands Engine, and the underpinning data, show our region growing GVA in total and per employee, faster than the UK as a whole between 2017-2018.
Growth was particularly strong in the creative, design and digital industries, with data showing R&D expenditure and business births growing faster in the Midlands, than the rest of the UK.
However, the QEC does highlight a worrying trend of fewer premises (in percentage terms) having access to superfast or ultrafast broadband than a year ago.
A lag in statistics means that, although the news seems generally good, we can’t be complacent, as qualitative analysis also points to tricky trading conditions for some key industries in the Midlands.
Other work of the Observatory continues apace with the first-ever Independent Economic Review (IER) for the Midlands Engine now nearing completion. It is intended that this will be published alongside the Midlands Engine Strategy Refresh, and will provide the underpinning evidence for economic growth interventions in the Midlands. The next QEC will be out in April 2020.