27 November 2019

Economic growth across Yorkshire and the Humber is likely to be closely in line with that of the UK but below the long-term average, according to research from PwC.

The firm's UK Economic Outlook report projects that the region's economy will grow by about 1.1 per cent in 2019 and 0.9 per cent in 2020.

Across the UK as a whole, economic growth is likely to remain subdued, rising by about 1.2 per cent in 2019 and 1 per cent in 2020; below its long-term average rate of about 2 per cent.

However, regional productivity across Yorkshire and the Humber is about 17 per cent below the national average.

The report said economic growth had slowed over the past two years primarily due to a dampening of business investment, resulting from both a lack of clarity over Brexit as well as heightened global trade tensions.

John Hawksworth, chief economist at PwC, said: "Places that are better connected physically and have access to skilled workers tend to have higher productivity levels.

"We find, for example, that a 1 per cent increase in skills is associated with a 2 per cent increase in productivity in a local area. Similarly, physical connectivity also matters, which reinforces the case for increased investment in transport infrastructure for areas that tend to lag behind, whether in the North of England or the far South West such as Cornwall.

"The prize from closing the regional productivity gap could be large. If LEPs that are performing below the UK average can close 50 per cent of this gap in productivity performance, it could add around £83bn to the economy, equivalent to almost 4 per cent of GDP.

"Yorkshire and the Humber could see the largest percentage increase (13.5 per cent), followed by Wales (10.7 per cent)."