City predicted to get shot in arm following vaccine

A new economic study has revealed cities in the West Midlands will all be showing rapid recovery rates at the same time as the Government’s extended furlough scheme comes to an end next year.

The latest UK Powerhouse report by law firm Irwin Mitchell and the Centre for Economics and Business Research predicts that the average annual GVA (gross value added) growth in the second quarter of 2021 across all locations is expected to be 23 per cent.

Wolverhampton is above this level with a 26.1 per cent increase with Birmingham expected to record 24.7 per cent growth and Coventry 21.4 per cent.

The study, which assumes a substantial proportion of the UK population will have received a Covd-19 vaccine by the middle of next year, highlights a disjoint between the increase in output and employment growth.

Despite rapid GVA growth, Birmingham’s employment levels are expected to fall by 0.1 per cent at the point when the furlough scheme finishes and Coventry is predicted to see an 0.7 per cent fall.

According to the report, Wolverhampton’s year-on-year employment levels in the second quarter of 2021 are expected to stay the same.

Looking ahead to the end of next year, Birmingham’s annual output growth in the final quarter of 2021 is expected to increase by 7.8 per cent and employment will move back into positive territory.

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