Yorkshire's economy losing £170m a day due to crisis

Yorkshire's economy is losing £170m each day during lockdown, with the region one of the worst impacted in the country by the coronavirus crisis.
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New data shows that the value of the region's goods and services has fallen 37 per cent from £466m per day to £296m a day since lockdown measures were implemented to combat the spread of the disease.

The figures, published by law firm Irwin Mitchell and the Centre for Economic and Business Research (Cebr), claims Yorkshire has been particularly impacted due to its large manufacturing base, which contributes an estimated 14.3 per cent of the local economy, in comparison to 9.2 per cent for the UK as a whole.

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However, with consumer spending plummeting and many industries that manufacturers sell into having been shut down due to the lockdown restrictions, the sector has seen 73 per cent of its value wiped out.

Yorkshire DalesYorkshire Dales
Yorkshire Dales

Accommodation and food services suffered the biggest overall damage with 94 per cent of its value being lost. Vehicle retail has also been badly hit with 61 per cent being wiped out.

And, despite Leeds being home to a strong professional services sector, the rest of the region is not, with many sectors unable to switch to remote working.

However the report also shows that some sectors such as agricultural, forestry and fishing, along with the information and communication sector, have remained strong with a relatively low daily GVA fall of 14 per cent and two per cent respectively.

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Paddy Sturman, partner and Head of Business Legal Services at Irwin Mitchell in Leeds, said: “In absolute terms, the Yorkshire and Humber region does not fare as badly as some other regions but in relative terms, it is one of the regions with the greatest daily GVA falls..

A downturn is predictedA downturn is predicted
A downturn is predicted

“As we all move to a ‘new normal’ post lockdown, different regions are going to come out of this at their own pace and tailored support in key areas could prove vital to economic recovery.

“The last election saw talk of ‘levelling up’ the economy and a challenging task has undoubtedly become harder given the impact of coronavirus. Construction and manufacturing are key areas but the crisis has also highlighted the importance of remote working to business viability.”

He added: “The shutdown to halt the spread of Covid-19 is having a dramatic effect on the whole of the UK economy and certain regions are expected to weather the storm better than others.

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“The report offers an insight into what form regional support might need to look like in Yorkshire once we start down the road to economic recovery.”

Bradford city centreBradford city centre
Bradford city centre

Irwin Mitchell and Cebr said that there has been a national 1.3 per cent rise in the share of the workforce mainly working from home over the past five years which puts the UK economy in a more resilient position in terms of share of people able to work remotely.

The number of people working from home in the Yorkshire region has increased by 1.8 per cent since 2014 taking the total figure to 4.8 per cent - the highest proportion in the north of England.

According to Cebr, the UK economy as a whole is currently losing £2.7 billion a day in absolute terms.

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Only the North East, North West and Midlands were said to be impacted more negatively by the lockdown. London was predicted to be the least impacted.

With the Prime Minister set to outline a road map to easing movement restrictions this weekend, the findings are likely to add further pressure on the Government to free up the economy or risk its collapse.

The closely watched IHS Markit/CIPS survey published yesterday showed that the UK’s economy is on course for a downturn “deeper than anything seen in living memory” as the service sector plummeted to a new record low.

Results from the latest British Chamber of Commerce reveal the vast majority of firms surveyed say they will require three weeks or less to prepare to restart operations alongside any loosening of the UK lockdown, with one in four saying they would require no notice.