Berkshire Economic Update

Gross Value Added (GVA) is used by Government to measure the overall economic wellbeing of an area. In broad terms it is generated by people in work and is quantified in terms of wages and company profits. Increases in GVA are primarily achieved through increases in the number of people in employment or increases in the productivity of people in work.

Berkshire has the second highest performing local economy in England after London (in terms of GVA per head).

Berkshire’s 5-year average annual GVA growth rate is in line with the regional and national average; however, growth over the last 12 months has been comparatively weak.

23% of GVA in Berkshire is generated by the ICT sector, compared with 6% nationally. The Distribution; transport; accommodation and food sector is also a big contributor to the local economy (contributing 20% of GVA).

With high employment rates in Berkshire, it is anticipated that the greatest uplift in GVA will be driven through productivity improvements, rather than an increase in the number of people employed.

Business start-ups and closures The number of businesses starting-up in Berkshire is growing. Approximately 9,100 businesses started here in 2015, up from 8,800 in 2014, and approximately three times as many as in 2010.

During the recession, there were more businesses closing in Berkshire than starting up (on an annual basis). This trend began to reverse in 2013 and continues today.

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