Back in the 1980’s, there was a long-standing joke that the Welsh economy was something of a dinosaur in comparison with the rest of the UK. But even though traditional heavy industry, such as coal mining, has declined in Wales, their economy is no longer the subject of ridicule, with tourism now one of their main employers.
In the 21st Century, where – owing to the recent recession – more and more people are curious about how the UK economy works, let’s take a brief look at a few things you didn’t know about the Welsh economy.
#1 Deflation in Wales
The prices of goods and services in Wales has fallen to an all-time low, with the Consumer Price Index coming in at 0.5%
Naturally, the Euro-zone doesn’t want mass-scale deflation, but commentators have acknowledged that the deflation in Wales is much welcomed. Fuel prices have fallen, meaning consumers can now spend more of their income on other goods. Hurrah!
#2 Tourism Is Booming in Wales
If foreign tourism in Wales has ever needed a boost, it got a major one in 2014, with £150 million pumped into the Welsh economy from foreign tourism.
A whopping 1,000,000 more visitors visited the country in 2014 than they did in 2013, with tourism now firmly seen as a significant area of investment.
#3 House Prices Are Low in Wales
Reflecting a UK trend, house prices in Wales have now been slipping for almost half a year.
This means that more and more mid-market sectors are now being challenged to lower their prices too.
#4 North Wales Is Paramount to the Welsh Economy
The success of the North Wales economy is key to the success of Wales, with Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb observing: “When the North Wales economy is doing well, Wales is doing well.”
The aim is for a variety of dynamic and creative firms in North Wales to be given the chance to flourish, with inward investment described recently as being “very very good for Wales,” by Mr. Crabb.
#5 Beer At Your Desk’ Startup Comes to Wales
Welsh digital entrepreneur, Tim Morgan, launched a new startup recently called DeskBeers, which delivers the finest craft beers to offices on a Friday afternoon, rewarding staff for an excellent week at work.
So far, the business has delivered all its beers to London but is now about to be brought to Wales, with rapid growth anticipated for this exciting, homegrown startup. More ideas like Tim’s, please!
#6 Wales Will Be Home to One of the First Laser Projection Cinemas
That’s right, Premiere Cinemas will be taking over Cardiff’s rundown Odeon cinema, injecting new life into the city with a forward-thinking cinema that will be one of the first in the UK to adopt laser projection.
A minimum of 4 screens will be laser, whilst at least one will be 4K quality, emulating Premiere’s successful business model throughout the UK.
#7 Lloyds Bank Has the Gay Vote
Stonewall, a group of campaigners and lobbyists for equality and justice for gays, lesbians and bisexuals, placed Lloyds Bank, which has a massive workforce presence in Wales, in the top 10 of their ‘best places to work if you are gay’ list.
It demonstrates that the right kind of forward-thinking equality culture is being honed at the banking giant, leading to greater productivity and teamwork. And it’s nice to see that this is being recognised.