Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Exports Boost Economy but More Scope for Manufacturing

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Exports Boost Economy but More Scope for Manufacturing

Article excerpt

Byline: Iain Laing

RECORD exports from the North East drove up the region's contribution to the UK economy at a faster rate than the national average last year.

But calls for the Government to bring help to boost business in the North East came as the region still languished at the bottom of the official national league for the value of goods produced per head.

And the region may well see its GVA drop further over the next 12 months after another year of public spending cuts which affect the North East more than any other region in the UK.

The region's GVA in 2010 was pounds 41bn which is a 3.9% increase on the previous year compared with the UK average of 3.2%.

North East Chamber of Commerce chief executive James Ramsbotham said: "The figures released today demonstrate an excellent performance by North East businesses in 2010 with our exporting manufacturers leading the way, according to our data.

"The GVA statistics contradict the assumption that the North East has performed worse since the recession than other regions, with our broad business base playing a key role in our recovery. "These numbers illustrate the North East's capacity for further development and with fresh investment in specific areas of the region's infrastructure we could be doing so much more for UK plc."

The rise is down to the health of the manufacturing, which makes up a bigger proportion of the region's economy than most. Exports have been rising in recent years and continue to hit record rates of growth.

The region sold a more than pounds 12.9bn in the 12 months to the end of June, which is 21% higher than a year ago and showing faster growth than the nationwide average of 15%.

The pharmaceutical industry and car manufacturer Nissan are credited with much of the increase. The Japanese firm with 5,000 workers on Wearside saw an increase of export value of pounds 1. …

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