Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Area's Economy Better Than Average

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Area's Economy Better Than Average

Article excerpt

THE North-east economy grew at its slowest pace for 17 months in December but still out-performed the UK average.

Last month saw a rise in output, new orders and job creation in the region, the latest survey from Lloyds TSB showed.

While the North-east's activity index of 52.6 was 0.9 points higher than the UK average, it represented the weakest growth in the region since July 2009.

The growth was underpinned by a solid rise in new work sparked by improved trading conditions, export sales and rising demand for goods and services.

Work backlogs in the region increased for the third successive month, bucking the downward UK trend, while firms continued to take on new staff to service outstanding contracts.

It was not all good news, however, as higher raw material and fuel costs squeezed margins, forcing companies to raise prices. Output price inflation in the region was the steepest for 28 months.

Lloyds said the data highlighted the North-east's "resilience" in the face of tough trading conditions. …

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