London sets the pace on exports for UK regions

Michael Bow
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25.4 per cent of total UK factory exports come from London and the south east (Source: Getty)
London and the south east account for more than a quarter of all British manufactured exports, a study out today shows, making it the biggest export market in the country.

The report, from EEF, says 25.4 per cent of total UK factory exports come from the area, with 47 per cent of those going to countries in the EU.

London and the south east is also the most productive manufacturing sector in the country, with a productivity rate equivalent to 121 per cent of the national average.

Just 522,600 people from the region are employed in the sector, equivalent to six per cent of the workforce – the lowest percentage in the UK.

“This report lifts the lid on the depth of regional diversity and the breadth of opportunity that a strong UK manufacturing base offers for local growth,” EEF chief economist Lee Hopley said.

Manufacturing has a much smaller presence in greater London than the rest of the country at just 4.8 per cent of output, according to the Office for National Statistics. The national average is 18 per cent.

Services in the region account for 87.4 per cent of its output, with construction representing 5.4 per cent.

The figures were published today in the EEF’s regional manufacturing outlook, which shows the west Midlands as the most optimistic region in the UK.

The area scored 6.86 out of 10 for confidence, putting it first place out of the nine UK regions.

The manufacturing hub is currently the second biggest contributor to UK exports by any one region, accounting for 12.1 per cent of manufactured exports.

Around 27 per cent of the area’s exports go to Asia, compared to 16 per cent for the national average. Just 40 per cent go to the EU, which is the lowest proportion of any region.

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