Small and medium-sized enterprise 2007 statistics published

The Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) has just published its 2007 Statistics on Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the UK and its regions, including a statistical press release and a suite of data tables.

This year’s release includes the bi-annual regional breakdown of the national figures, listing the numbers of enterprises of various sizes in the West Midlands and other regions. The figures suggest several changes since 2005: the total number of enterprises increased by more than 20 000 to over 375 000, and total turnover increased by 10% to more than £210 billion.

Contributions to turnover were not even. 0.1% of all West Midlands enterprises employed 37% of the region’s employees, and contributed to 42% of the turnover.

Economic activity in the West Midlands continues to slow

Latest economic output data suggest that the regional economy continues to slow down.

The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) is based on surveys undertaken by Markit Economics on behalf of the Royal Bank of Scotland. It is an important indicator of current market conditions.

The index is derived such that a level of 50 signals no change since the previous month, above 50 signals an increase (or improvement) and below 50 a decrease (or contraction). The greater the divergence from 50, the greater the rate of change signalled.

The latest data from the PMI West Midlands report (pdf, 232kb) signalled the fastest decline in business activity in the region in almost seven years in June, as new business fell for the eighth month running. Continue reading

Crime in England and Wales 2007/08

The Home Office has recently released their annual publication Crime in England and Wales for 2007/08  This is the seventh report in the series which combines reporting of police report crime and the British Crime Survey.

The police recorded and BCS figures are a complementary series that together provide a better picture of crime than could be obtained from either series alone.  Commentary and accompanying data are available on a range of different types of crime, for example: vehicle crime, violent crime, and burglary in addition to fear of crime.

In line with the data release, you may be interested to know that the crime indicators within the State of the Region 2008 Quality of Life dataset have been updated.

Birmingham boasts tourism boost

Marketing Birmingham released their Annual Visitor Survey 2007 earlier this week.

The research, carried out in August and September last year, indicate that a record 31.9 million people visited the city for leisure in 2007. A resulting £4.4 billion was spent in the city as a result.

The number of visitors was a 1.5 million increase on the previous year, with increases in spending seen in most sectors. Wining and dining proved particularly popular with a reported £55 million increase in spending compared with 2006, but the survey found that it was the retail sector that outperformed others with a £242m increase.

When asked their favourite aspect of the city, it was the city’s canals that proved to be the most popular with just over 20% of respondents saying that the waterways were Birmingham’s best selling point.

The full report includes visitor profiles, data on accommodation, eating out, shopping, leisure and transport. Further data on tourism in the city and the region is available on Marketing Birmingham’s research pages.

West Midlands sub-regional information sources

If you are looking for specific data or information about one of the sub-regions, in addition to our Resource Catalogue on, you might also like to try one of the sub-regional intelligence units.

Here is a list of some of them to help you track down the information that you need.

In addition to these, many of the local authorities also have intelligence or research units that can provide data and statistics. I’ve previously looked at one, Research Sandwell, in an earlier posting.

If you have other sources of sub-regional information that are not listed here, why not post a comment to let others know about it. And of course, you can always submit details of any research and data sources relevant to the West Midlands to the resource catalogue, thereby making it even easier for others to track down!

Road Statistics 2007: Traffic, Speeds and Congestion

The Department for Transport published Road Statistics 2007: Traffic, Speeds and Congestion on 24 July 2008.  This bulletin includes the first release of National Statistics on 2007 Road Traffic, Free Flow Vehicle Speeds in Great Britain, and Traffic Speeds on the Strategic Road Network in England.

The bulletin also includes further information about congestion on urban and inter-urban roads.  Data is available down to Government Office Region for several of the indicators, providing a useful source of data.


BuildingWe receive a number of enquiries through our research enquiries service. One of the most frequently asked questions is “how many businesses are there in the West Midlands?”

The Inter Departmental Business Register (IDBR) is a key source of information on business activity and can be broken down to Local Authority District level.  It is updated annually, containing data on VAT traders and PAYE employers in a statistical register comprising of 2.1 million businesses.  Data can also be broken down by size of business in terms of the number of employees, or amount of turnover generated and by sector. Continue reading