In 2016, London growth was nearly double the UK average

Author
Published date
20 Dec 2017

In 2016 the UK grew by 1.6%. London grew by 3.0%.

The story of London moving further away from the rest of the UK continues. 

Growth in London was treble the (unweighted) average growth of 1.0% across regions and nations outside London. 

Growth was at least positive across all regions and nations, except for a fall of 1% in the North East.

2016 GVA growth, real terms, per cent

Source: The comparisons are based on regional GVA (gross value added, basically the GDP measure for regions) figures issued today by ONS. The average for the UK excluding London is unweighted in that it doesn’t take account of the different sizes of the r

The chart below shows growth in London outpacing average growth across the rest of the UK in every year since 2010, except for 2015. Though this was also the norm in the three years in the run up to the financial crisis.

 1999-2016 GVA growth, real terms, per cent

Source: ONS and TUC calculations

As a result, London now accounts for 23.4 per cent of UK GVA. That’s approaching a quarter. In 1998, the earliest figures the ONS publish, it was less than a fifth.

London as a % share of UK GVA

Source: ONS and TUC calculations

Plainly the government have taken note of these dismal outcomes and there is much talk of Northern Powerhouses and Midland engines. But the reality is very different to the rhetoric. And we should remember that London is very far from perfect, with excessive reliance on finance and related industries that advantage the few, not the many. The need is for a serious industrial strategy with a serious regional dimension.