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UK Powerhouse

Our quarterly economic growth report charting the regional effects of economic policy for businesses across the UK

Key Findings Q1 2018

Slow growth nationwide

Annual GDP growth fell to its lowest level for six years at only 0.1%, or 1.2% year-on-year. Quarterly consumer spending growth fell to 0.2%.

GVA leaders

Cambridge, Ipswich, and Reading top the charts for Gross Value Added (GVA) growth thanks to strong performance in the tech sector.

Strong labour market

Unemployment was the lowest it’s been since 1975, at 4.1%. Total employment was at 75.6%, the highest since records began in 1971.

Tech sector

The tech sector grew 2.6x faster than the rest of the economy. Growth is set to continue due to strong government support.

Employment Leaders

Both the North and the South were represented in the top cities for employment growth, with Leeds, Southampton and Oxford in the top three.


Cambridge has the fastest growth rate of all British cities in Q1 2018 and looks set to stay at the top of the leader board until Q4 2018.

Real wage growth

Regular pay increased by 2.9% while consumer price inflation averaged 2.5%, meaning a real wage increase of 0.4% (excluding bonuses).


The top three cities for GVA growth in the North are all in Yorkshire – Rotherham, Doncaster, and Wakefield.

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