20 March 2017: An economic report released by Thames Valley Berkshire LEP has reiterated the significant role of the Berkshire economy in contributing to national economic growth, now and in the future.
New data published by the Office for National Statistics has highlighted that Berkshire is ranked second only to London in terms of economic output and productivity. It contributes over £35bn Gross Value Added (GVA - the value of goods and services produced in an area), or £40,248 GVA per head, to the UK economy. And its GVA growth is ranked an impressive 4th out of 38 when compared to the other LEP areas in the country.
In addition to this, productivity growth rates between 2014 and 2015 were significantly higher than between 2013 and 2014, with Berkshire maintaining its leading position in relation to other LEP areas in England.
In terms of employment, private sector employment has reached its highest level since 2011, with 88% of total employment coming from the private sector. The overall unemployment rate has fallen to just 3.6%.
The report highlights the value of the Berkshire economy to the UK – as a high wage, high-skilled, competitive economy with excellent transport links to the UK’s hub airport, Heathrow. The LEP has long argued that its area “delivers national growth, locally”; the latest data and five year moving average analysis reinforces this point, as well as demonstrating how Berkshire can contribute to the government’s Industrial Strategy, designed to build on the strengths of the UK to enable all parts of the country to succeed.
Peter Read, Chairman of the LEP, comments, “These figures provide a timely reminder of the strength and stability of the Berkshire economy. The LEP has now sealed three Growth Deals with government, which will see £142m invested into Berkshire’s connectivity, an absolute priority for the local workforce. In these times of great change, Berkshire is well-positioned to continue to play a leading role in the UK’s future growth as the country prepares to forge new, global trade deals”.
Click here to view the full report.