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6 June 2022

Levelling down: how the UK’s regional divides are widening

GDP grew by 2.3 per cent in London but contracted by 1.2 per cent in the North East in the most recent quarter.

By Ben Walker

The UK is likely to enter recession in 2022 and not all regions and communities will be well prepared. 

A recession coupled with the cost-of-living crisis will no doubt hit certain areas harder than others and experimental data from the Office for National Statistics exposes how the UK’s GDP growth has been unbalanced. 

In the third quarter of 2021, the most recent data available, GDP grew by 2.3 per cent in London but contracted by 1.2 per cent in the North East of England, 0.6 per cent in the East, 0.6 per cent in the West Midlands and 0.5 per cent in the East Midlands.

Despite Boris Johnson’s government’s promise of “levelling up”, the signs are that the UK’s regional disparities are widening rather than narrowing.

[See also: What does stagflation mean for the cost-of-living crisis?]

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