Economic Performance

The overall productivity within the local economy can be measured by calculating the Gross Value Added (GVA) per hour worked. The graph below shows this productivity trend over recent years relative to the UK (index=100). The use of a relative index helps to control for the effects of inflation. Wakefield’s economic productivity fell between 2004 and 2009. It has been increasing gradually since then. Leeds used to have the highest productivity in the sub-region, but this has been declining while productivity in Bradford has been increasing. Productivity in Calderdale and Kirklees has also been falling.

Broken down by industry, manufacturing currently accounts for the largest share of GVA, followed by the wholesale and retail trade (including repair of motor vehicles) (see table below). Real estate activities is next largest contributor. All three of these industries have grown in GVA terms over the past 10 years. Over the past decade, the biggest increases in performance in percentage terms have been in administrative and support services, and in arts, entertainment and recreation. Within administration and support industries, the biggest GVA increases have been in rental and leasing activities and in office administration and business support. While the percentage GVA increase in the arts has been large, the direct contribution this sector makes to the value of the local economy is small (1.6%). The largest reductions in economic performance have been in agriculture/mining/electricity/gas/water/waste, and construction.

Value of GVA by industry, with the effects of inflation removed. Source: ONS Gross Value Added

The Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce Economic Survey shows that business confidence peaked at the end of 2013 and then fell (see graph below). Confidence has recovered since then and in 2018 turnover and profitability expectations have been at their highest level in four years.