Country report United Kingdom - Work Package 1 Ex post evaluation of Cohesion Policy programmes 2007-2013, focusing on the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund (CF)
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The economic and financial crisis had a major impact on the UK economy with a turn-around from an average annual growth rate of nearly 3% to a decline of over 2% a year over the period 2007-2009. This reversal led to a fall in employment and an increase in unemployment from just over 5% of the labour force in 2007 to 8% in 2011. From 2009 onwards, however, growth was relatively sustained and by 2014, the rate was similar to that before the recession struck and unemployment had fallen back to its pre-crisis level.
The public sector deficit, which increased to 11% of GDP in 2009, has proved more difficult to reduce despite fairly continuous fiscal consolidation since then. In 2015, it was still over 4% of GDP and government debt was around 90% of GDP.
Regional disparities in the UK remained pronounced and persistent over the 2007-2013 period, with a general reduction in GDP per head in all regions over the recession years. The difference in GDP per head between Convergence regions on average and Competitiveness and Employment ones was much the same in 2014 as in 2007, though the gap between London and the rest of the country, the major disparity, widened further between these years.
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