“Diverse” North East economy could reduce impact of recession
(21 January 2009)
The North East’s diverse economy could reduce the impact of the current economic downturn, a Durham University expert says.
Tony Cleaver, a Senior Teaching Fellow in Economics at the University’s Durham Business School, was speaking after it was announced today (Wednesday January 21) that the number of unemployed in the UK had risen to 1.92million. Mr Cleaver said: “Announcements of unemployment increases are not a surprise and we can predict that things will get worse in the coming months before they get better. “The only issue is when we can expect the current recession to bottom out. “For the North East, the region has diversified and many more light manufacturing and service sector jobs have been created since the times when the region was dependent on the key heavy industries of coal, shipbuilding and railways. “There is some reason for hope therefore that the North East will not suffer the dislocation that it has experienced in the past when booms turned to bust. “The government is also doing its best to try and get banks to start lending again. If consumers and smaller businesses can get access to credit then the region should be able to ride out the storms and start thinking of a bounce back after this year. “Confidence is the key. If consumers, bankers and businesses think and act positive the recovery will come sooner than later. The falling value of the pound will help UK exports to Europe and the USA, our main markets, and a Barack Obama bounce factor in the USA would also help.”