Whereas the Welsh Government used to dread the announcement of this data as it usually showed that the Welsh economy was slipping back, they will see today's results as an early Christmas present, although there is still that remains to be done to ensure that the economy will continue to grow over the next decade.
In 2012, Gross Value Added (GVA) per head of population increased in all NUTS1 regions except for the East Midlands (Map 1).
Not surprisingly, it was the South East of England that had the largest increase in GVA per head at 2.5%, followed by the North West of England at 1.7% and Wales at 1.6%. However, serious regional disparities remain with London having the largest GVA per head at £37,232, while Wales had the lowest at £15,401.
When compared with the UK average, in 1997 and 2012, only London and the South East of England had per head indices above the UK value (Figure 1). During this period, three regions’ per head indices increased compared with the UK average namely London (which increased from 164.6 to 174.8), the North East of England (which increased from 73.1 to 75.3) and the North West of England (which increased from 85.5 to 86.6).
The largest decrease compared with the UK average was in the West Midlands which decreased from 90.7 in 1997 to 81.8 in 2012. The per head index for Wales had decreased slightly from 73.5 to 72.3 during the period 1997-2012.
Map 2 shows the amount of GVA produced by each region in the Uk in 2012. The highest was London with £309 billion and the lowest was Northern Ireland with £29 billion. The GVA for Wales was £47 billion.
London and the South East of England are the only regions to have increased their share of UK GVA (including Extra-Regio) in the period 1997 to 2012. London had the largest increase in share of GVA between 1997 and 2012, from 19.4% to 22.4%. The West Midlands had the largest decrease in share of GVA between 1997 and 2012, from 8.0% to 7.1%. wales decreased its share from 3.6 per cent in 1997 to 3.4 per cent in 2012.
Between 1997 and 2011 the contribution of manufacturing to total GVA decreased in each of
the NUTS1 regions (table 2). The region showing the greatest decrease in absolute terms was the West Midlands, where manufacturing accounted for 27.5% of GVA in 1997 and 13.8% of GVA in 2011.
Wales now has the highest contribution by manufacturing to the economy of any of the UK regions (16.8 per cent) although the relative decline in the period 1997-2011 has been higher then the Uk average.