The Structure of the West Midlands Economy: West Midlands in the UK context

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This is the first of a series of policy briefings linked to the Socio-Economic Impact Model for the UK  (SEIM-UK) project (view the second briefing). In this first policy briefing, we analyse the structure of the West Midlands Economy (WME) in terms of production and value-added; private consumption and disposable income; public infrastructure and gross fixed capital formation. This analysis is constructed by the use of Interregional Input-Output tables for the UK case.

WME shows a concentrated industrial structure in terms of value-added and production distributions. WME is mainly specialized in manufacturing sectors and also certain supply services (such as transportation, education, waste management services or water collection, treatment and supply). These sectors drive the region’s exports. Overall, including locally-oriented activities, the major contributors to the WME in terms of value-added are Real Estate; Wholesale and Retail; and Human Health and Social Work.

The patterns of private and public consumption in the WME are close to the UK average. WME private consumption is very similar to the UK average, except for the shares on education and real estate activities.

In terms of local public expenditure, local employment policies are a major focus of WME, and our analysis shows that overall WME is in the top 10 of UK regions in terms of total investment.

Finally, an important point which comes out of our analysis is that the WME is a complex and diverse economy which can only really be understood by looking at all of its components and their interconnections. The SEIM-UK model allows us to do this.

Download a copy of the policy briefing.

This policy briefing was written by Dr Andre Carrascal-Incera, Research Fellow, City-REDI, Raquel Ortega-Argiles,  Professor of Regional Economic Development, City-REDI and Geoffrey Hewings,  Emeritus Director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory (REAL), and Professor Emeritus, University of Illinois. 

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