The North East seems to be particularly recession-prone due to its reliance on commodities. The region, which includes the city of Newcastle, is one of the main suppliers of the UK’s oil, gas and steel industries (paywall). When commodity prices go down, so does the North East’s economy. Areas of the country with a greater dependence on services industries, like London, are less likely to experience such booms and busts. The North East is the second-poorest region of the country, after Wales, with the slowest-growing economy since 2012, so these busts are particularly harsh.

The South West, the only region of the UK that is growing slower than the North East, has experienced repeated recessions due to its unusually large trade, manufacturing and tourism sectors (pdf). Trade and tourism revenues can be unpredictable and more dependent on the state of the global economy than industries like healthcare and education.

Local recessions may matter more than national ones. That’s because in the typical region in the UK, only about 4% of the population leaves every year. If you live in Newcastle and are not willing to move, the fact that London’s economy is buoyant is not too helpful.

The UK’s regional GDP statistics lag national ones by about five months. As a result, these data may not receive as much attention as they should. A quicker turnaround on regional GDP would likely be useful as the country heads towards Brexit, helping the government direct spending towards the areas and people most at risk under the worst-case scenarios.

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