Evidence to support the need for a Combined Authority in the West Midlands

I wanted to dig deeper behind where the under performance in terms on nominal GVA per head in the West Midlands lies. My previous post has shown how Greater Manchester has overtaken the West Midlands – we need to understand where this is most apparent and then dig deeper into why? This post will focus on the where – and perhaps the Combined Authority will look seriously at the why.

GVA per head split

This chart shows a number of things

  • All areas underperformed the Greater Manchester performance. Birmingham kept pace until roughly 2003 but then lost ground. Solihull made good progress in the 2000’s but slipped back during the recession
  • Birmingham followed by Solihull were the best performing parts of the West Midlands
  • Coventry followed by the Black Country were the worst performing parts of the area. Both saw GVA/per capita growth of only just over 40% in 15 years from 1997 compared to Greater Manchester’s growth of over 80%

These indices are based on nominal GVA figures and so do not correct for inflation but nevertheless in relative terms are likely to reflect real differences in growth.

These figures suggest that all areas need to improve their performance and give strong credence to the push for a Combined Authority covering the whole West Midlands urban conurbation.

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