Wales’ economy bounces back better than UK as a whole despite stricter Covid rules
Wales’ economy saw a faster pandemic bounce-back than all but one region of England, despite stricter Covid regulations.
The new figures published by the ONS and analysed by the Financial Times show that Wales’ Gross Value Added (GVA) was only 1.9% smaller in the third quarter of 2021 than before the pandemic. This surpassed the UK’s overall economic recovery, which fell 2.1 per cent over the same period.
Northern Ireland, which still has access to the EU single market, was the best performing region with output falling only 0.3%. That was followed closely by London on 1.8% and then Wales.
The West Midlands, just over the border with Wales, fared worst with economic activity down 10% on the last quarter of 2019.
The figures would seem to allay fears that Wales’ more stringent Covid restrictions, including mask mandates and Covid passes, would be a significant break on economic activity compared with England.
The ONS however warned that the estimates were “experimental” and produced using an econometric model created as part of the Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence (ESCoE) research project, Regional Nowcasting in the UK.
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No doubt the Tories will take credit for this. Although you can guarantee they would have blamed the Welsh labour government if Wales had performed the worst.