Jane Hutt AM, Minister for Finance and Government Business
This statement notifies Members of a new statistical product following a review of economic statistics led by the Chief Economist and Chief Statistician.
The review concluded that it would be beneficial to develop and publish a small basket of indicators to monitor the performance of the Welsh economy in a rounded manner that avoids undue focus on any one aspect. To that end, a new statistical product has been published today, called Welsh Economy: In Numbers. This product is published in a website format and provides a high level, easily accessible, broad picture of Welsh economic outcomes that will be kept up to date as new data are published.
The statistics and analysis presented are focussed around outcomes for individuals in Wales and are presented in 4 main themes: Income, Output, Work and Poverty and Wealth. Within the 4 themes, there are eight key indicators presented.
The eight indicators are:
- Gross Domestic Household Income per head;
- Primary Income per head;
- Gross Value Added per head;
- Gross Value Added per hour worked;
- Employment Rate;
- Average Weekly Earnings;
- Poverty Rate; and
- Average Household Wealth.
The home page of the interactive website provides statistics for each indicator at a glance. When users click on any of the indicators or theme buttons, they will be directed to a new page containing commentary and analysis comparing Wales with other UK countries and regions. Links to related statistical bulletins, where more detailed information can be found on people, businesses and sectors in the Welsh economy are also provided.
The analysis shows that the Welsh economy has been performing reasonably well over the medium term in relative terms, largely keeping pace with the wider UK economy on most indicators, including Gross Value Added and earnings; and growing at a faster rate than the UK in some, such as Gross Disposable Household Income. Analysis of other indicators shows that the historic gap in the employment rate between the UK and Wales has narrowed over time, and Welsh households compare particularly well in terms of their average wealth relative to many other UK countries and regions.
The Chief Economist and Chief Statistician will continue to consider options for improving the usefulness and accessibility of economic data and what is needed to support our new tax powers, and will continue to work collaboratively with the Office for National Statistics and other stakeholders. A full consultation of economics and labour market statistics will take place in the autumn, where economic and labour market data issues can be discussed with a wide range of interested parties and experts.