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Midlands economy growing faster than UK average

New figures from Birmingham City University and the ONS show a booming economy in the region

New figures have revealed the Midlands economy is growing nearly 50 per cent faster than the UK average.

Official figures released by the Office for National Statistics placed UK economic growth at 0.5 per cent last quarter - but experts from the Midlands Economic Forum and Birmingham City University (BCU) have shown the Midlands regional output grew 0.7 per cent.

The numbers were crunched using the Midlands Economic Model, a new tool created by the forum and the university, which uses data to analyse and predict economic trends in the region.

A report titled 'Midlands Perspectives' showed that growth in key industries in the region, such as the automotive, aerospace and business services sectors, were outperforming the national average.

Figures for the Midlands economy are normally reported by London-based economists but the new Midlands Economic Model allows for key regional drivers and industry differences - such as the strong manufacturing trade - to be given greater consideration.

The statistics were unveiled to business and academic representatives from organisations including Touchwood shopping centre in Solihull, Marketing Birmingham and the West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority.

Mark Smith, director of CU Advantage at BCU, said: "There is a wealth of knowledge at the university and we not only want to share that with our students but also use it to help support growth in this region.

"This detailed level of economic analysis can play a key role in driving investment in to this region and ensuring we keep the economy moving in the right direction."

The report also reveals that productivity levels in the Midlands have increased slightly faster than the national average over the last five years, with growth in the East Midlands particularly high.

The numbers take into account the Midlands region as a whole, including key areas in the west such as Birmingham and Wolverhampton, as well as those in the east like Nottingham, Leicester and Derby.

Regional figures have already taken steps to unite the two sides of the Midlands in the form of Midlands Connect - a collaboration of 11 local enterprise partnerships, Network Rail, Highways England, central government, 28 local authorities and the business community.

The transport partnership is aiming to develop a long-term transport investment strategy to enhance connectivity within, to and from the region.

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