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Welsh economy: in numbers

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Output
Gross Value Added (GVA) per head measures the output from the Welsh economy and GVA per hour worked measures the productivity of the Welsh economy.
  • GVA per head

    Gross Value Added per head in Wales and comparator regions/countries as a proportion of the UK less extra-regio* - *Extra-Regio is the Gross Value Added which could not be apportioned to a country region. UK = 100
    UK rank
    12
    12 UK regions countries
    Wales:UK
    71.0
    UK = 100
    Change of Wales:UK on year
    0.5
    Percentage points

    What is it?

    Gross Value Added (GVA) measures the value of the output of the economy generated in a specific geographic area. It includes the production of all goods and services but does not make any allowance for capital used up. The incomes generated by production in an area are not necessarily received by residents of that area. 

    Current position

    The most recent figure for Gross Value Added per head for Wales is £18,002 which is 71.0 per cent of the UK average; the lowest of any other UK region or country.

    Long term trend

    Wales saw the fifth largest percentage increase in Gross Value Added per head of the 12 UK countries and English regions between 1999 and 2015, up 62.6 per cent compared with a 64.2 per cent increase in the UK. The largest increase was in London, followed by Scotland, North East England and North West England.

    As a proportion of the UK average, Gross Value Added per head in Wales has varied between 70.5 and 74.4 per cent of the UK average since devolution. 

    The level of Gross Value Added for the UK is very strongly influenced by London and to a lesser extent by the South East, such that all other 10 UK countries and regions have a Gross Value Added per head below the UK average.

    Notes:

    The chart shows a time series for Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the UK; and for the two highest, and the lowest, English regions.

    The official estimates of Gross Value Added are derived using the income approach. This measures the incomes generated by individuals and corporations from economic activity in a geographic area, irrespective of the location of the recipients of that income. [One consequence is that areas with net out-commuting will tend to have lower levels of Gross Value Added per head.]

    Gross Value Added does not take account of the capital used up in the production process, and since this can vary widely between industries, differences in Gross Value Added per head can reflect differences in economic structure.

    Gross Value Added per head is measured relative to total population. It will, therefore, tend to be lower in areas where the dependent population is relatively large.

  • GVA per hour

    Gross Value Added per hour in Wales and comparator regions/countries as a proportion of the UK less extra-regio* - *Extra-Regio is the Gross Value Added which could not be apportioned to a country region. UK = 100
    UK rank
    11
    12 UK regions countries
    Wales:UK
    81.4
    UK = 100
    Change of Wales:UK on year
    -0.5
    Percentage points

    What is it?

    Output from an economy can only be increased by increasing inputs or by increasing productivity; therefore productivity is a key element in achieving economic growth. Gross Value Added per hour worked is an approximation of labour productivity, which measures the amount of output produced by a single unit of labour input.

    Current position

    Gross Value Added per hour worked for people working in Wales is currently £25.91, equivalent to 81.4 per cent of the UK total. This is the second lowest proportion of any region or country after Northern Ireland, and is the worst position for Wales relative to the UK recorded (comparable statistics start in 2004).

    Long term trend

    Wales saw the joint eighth largest percentage increase in Gross Value Added per hour worked out of the 12 UK countries and English regions between 2004 and 2015, up 26.4 per cent compared with a 30.4 per cent increase in the UK. The largest increase was in Scotland, followed by London and Northern Ireland.

    As a proportion of the UK total, Gross Value Added per hour in Wales has decreased from 84.0 in 2004 to 81.4 in 2015, the lowest recorded.
     
    Similarly to Gross Value Added per head, Gross Value Added per hour in the UK is driven very strongly by London and the South East, to the extent that all other 10 UK countries and regions have a Gross Value Added per hour below the UK average.

    Notes:

    The chart shows a time series for Wales, for Scotland, Northern Ireland and the UK; and for the two highest, and the lowest, English regions.

    The official estimates of Gross Value Added are derived from the income approach. This measures the incomes generated by individuals and corporations from economic activity in a geographic area, irrespective of the location of the recipients of that income.

    GVA does not take account of the capital used up in the production process, and since this can vary widely between industries, differences in Gross Value Added per hour can reflect differences in economic structure.

    Gross Value Added is measured relative to total population. It will therefore tend to be lower in areas where the dependent population is relatively large.

    Evidence from across the UK and other developed countries suggests that Gross Value Added per hour (and other measures of productivity) tends to be higher in large cities.

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