The North East economy contracted faster than that in any other part of England and Wales during the third quarter of 2021, according to latest figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), in spite of growth in England overall.
The region’s gross domestic product (GDP) was down by 1.2% in the July-September period compared with an increase of 0.6% for England overall.
However, though the North East figure was negative it was not uniquely so. The East Midlands, West Midlands, East and South East as well as Wales also saw falls, while Yorkshire & the Humber’s GDP was flat.
Nor has North East GDP performed especially badly over the pandemic period compared with other regions. The North East has seen negative growth in four of the seven quarters since the start of 2020 for which figures are now available – fewer than the five experienced in the East Midlands and West Midlands and the same as in the South East and Wales.
The biggest single quarterly drop in the North East was 17.3% in the second quarter of 2020 – a figure exceeded by every other English region except London (-17.2%) – followed by a fall of 15.7% the following quarter, which was again less severe than every region except London.
Further, the North East’s disappointing performance in the third quarter of 2021 followed a second quarter during which the regional economy grew by 6.9% – the highest in any part of England and Wales.