Regional growth falls below UK average

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Growth in Yorkshire and the Humber dipped below the national average in 2014, as the region’s reliance on manufacturing dampened successes in other sectors.

Estimated figures from the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) Regional Growth Tracker showed the region’s economy rise by 2.5 per cent across the last 12 months, compared to 2.7 per cent nationally.

Quarterly growth was just 0.3 per cent for quarter four, as some parts of the manufacturing sector began to contract, RBS said.

However, Wakefield, Calderdale and Kirklees and North Yorkshire outperformed the rest of the region’s districts, reflecting in part the strength of their retail and wholesale sectors.

In the year to quarter three, Wakefield also managed to reduce its unemployment rate by three percentage points to 7.6 per cent, the largest fall in the region.

Rupert Seggins, senior economic adviser at the bank, told The Yorkshire Post that although growth has slowed, there is still a positive picture for the region.

The impact of falling output in textiles, pharma and machine manufacturing had Yorkshire and the Humber harder because of its “comparatively greater than average reliance” on the industry.

“Conversely, the top performing regions tended to have a heavy reliance on the service sector and retail and wholesale,” Mr Seggins added.