The headlines for this month’s monitor are:
- Headline West Midlands business activity—accounting for services and manufacturing—has risen to 50.6, the second-highest in the country, behind London.
- The West Midlands was one of the four regions with GDP growth above the UK level from 2018 Q1 to 2019 Q1 at 2.3% compared to the UK average of 2.2 %.
- In the year ending June 2019, the employment rate in the WMCA (3-LEP area) was 71.7% (1,848,300 people) compared to 75.5% for the UK overall.
- Research shows that up to 70% of Wholesale & Retail industry businesses in the WM sell goods to (non-UK) EU nations, compared 22% for the services sector as a whole.
- Recently released data shows that in 2019 the West Midlands area exported £16.6bn worth of goods across the world and imported £15.3bn, leading to a trade surplus of £1.3bn.
- New data shows that in August the WMCA area had 3,976 households who had their Housing Benefit capped, a decrease of 27.8% (- 1,528 households) from August 2018 compared to a 25.3% decrease for Great Britain.
The West Midlands Economic Monitor was written by Ben Brittain, Policy and Data Analyst, City-REDI, University of Birmingham.
The opinions presented here belong to the author rather than the University of Birmingham.
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