Derby outstripped its East Midlands rivals to be named one of the fastest growing consumer sectors in the UK at the end of last year, according to a new report by Irwin Mitchell which also hinted at a strong future for the city’s retail and leisure industries.
Produced by national law firm Irwin Mitchell and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), the Consumer Powerhouse special report provides an estimate of GVA growth and job creation within key cities across the UK with a specific focus on the retail, leisure, tourism and food and drink sectors.
Published this month, the report revealed that Derby’s consumer sector was the fourth best-performing in the UK in Q4 2017, after it recorded GVA growth of 2.9% across the period.
The city’s consumer sector employment growth of 2.6% was also the fifth highest recorded in the quarter.
With the report also predicting strong GVA and employment growth rates across this year, the future is undoubtedly looking bright for Derby. However, there was mixed news in terms of the other major cities in the East Midlands.
While Leicester’s consumer sector GVA growth in Q4 2017 was in line with the national average at 1.5%, employment growth was clocked at just 0.7%. In contrast, while Nottingham’s consumer sector saw its workforce increase by 2.1% in Q4 2017, the city recorded the third worst GVA growth level across the period with a rate of -0.1%.
Victoria Brackett, CEO of Business Legal Services at Irwin Mitchell, said: “Our latest report certainly makes for positive reading for the retail and leisure industries across Derby, with the city seeing widespread growth across many sectors in recent months.
“While there could be several factors behind this, one which is sure to have had an impact is the higher international demand experienced by several manufacturers in Derby since the Brexit vote led to a weaker pound. The current health of these local employers will be driving wage growth and employment in the region, which in turn will encourage retail and leisure spending as well as expenditure on eating out.
“However, there was a much more varied picture across the rest of the East Midlands and it is clear that the likes of Nottingham and Leicester have much work to do to match the performance of their regional rival.”