Latest West Midlands economic outlook released

Peter Mandelson speaking at West Midlands TaskforceThe latest monthly economic update (PDF, 0.6MB) was released today by the West Midlands Taskforce. The report, which draws together national and regional data, provides an up-to-date assessment of the current economic climate.

National headlines from the latest report include:

  • Survey of independent forecasters continue to revise projections for 2009 GDP growth down. The latest average forecast is for the UK economy to contract 2.7% in real terms in 2009, with marginal growth of 0.5% in 2010.
  • National output in automotive sector in 2009 forecast to be down 25% on 2008.
  • CPI inflation continues to fall, although not as far as predicted.

Regional headlines include:

  • PMI index continues to show declining levels of output; the region has seen the sharpest fall in output over the last 3 months.
  • Unemployment rose by 34,000 in the 3 months to December 2008 taking the region’s unemployment rate to 7.7%.
  • The Federation of Small Businesses‘ survey indicate that small businesses were experiencing a continuation of tightening credit facilities. However, a high proportion continue to be unaware of the Government’s Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme.
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