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Uk Economic Rebalancing - How Its Turned Out....

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The coalition government’s efforts to ‘rebalance’ the UK economy were largely unsuccessful, according to a new report by the University of Sheffield.

Economic ‘rebalancing’ had been one of the most important priorities of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government, with the Tories accusing the Labour government of creating and presiding over a dangerously unbalanced economy which had contributed to the 2008 financial crisis and subsequent recession.


The SPERI study found the finance sector is now a smaller component of the UK economy (7.4 per cent of output compared to 9.9 per cent before the financial crisis) – but so too is the manufacturing sector (9.7 per cent compared to 10.9 per cent).

There are now fewer jobs in finance, but also fewer in manufacturing, and pay in the finance sector continues to outpace most manufacturing industries.

Economic activity in London (21.1 per cent of output compared to 21 per cent before the financial crisis) and the South East (14.9 per cent compared to 14.3 per cent) is now a larger component of the UK economy.

In contrast, each of the Northern regions is now a smaller component of the UK economy (the North West has 9.3 per cent of output compared to 9.6 per cent before the financial crisis, the North East has 3 per cent compared to 3.1 per cent, and Yorkshire has 6.7 per cent compared to 7.1 per cent).

This inequality is not accounted for by different population sizes within these regions, the study found. Output per person is now 83.9 per cent, 73.2 per cent and 80.2 per cent of the national average in, respectively, the North West, North East and Yorkshire. Before the financial crisis, these scores were higher: 85 per cent, 73.7 per cent and 84.8 per cent, respectively.

In contrast, output per person in London is now 169.3 per cent of the national average, an increase from 167.5 per cent before the financial crisis.

Re-balancing towards the south?

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