The composition of the Devon economy has significant variations from the national average. Over time the unique natural and cultural assets within Devon have tended to steer the economy towards certain activities. The vast rural landscapes and fertile lands have naturally tended towards agricultural uses and in 2008 some 3.6% of the wealth economy of Devon was from agricultural industries – four times more than the national average. Tourism generates twice this level of wealth only slightly behind the contribution made by manufacturing.
Devon’s economy is worth some £11.6billion and is one of the largest in the South West. Our productivity levels have grown faster than the national average but output per head is still approximately 25% lower than the national average. Devon has a significantly higher proportion of part time, and self employed workers which along with the industrial composition goes some way in explaining the lower productivity levels.
The composition of the Devon economy has significant variations from the national economy. Our unique natural and cultural assets have steered the economy towards certain activities. Agriculture contributes four times more to output in Devon than it does nationally. Our world class environment supports a thriving visitor economy, with the hotels and catering sector making up 7% of the county’ economy, twice the national average. Not all sectors of the Devon economy have grown at the same rates and we have seen the relative importance of sectors change over the last 10 years. Whilst manufacturing is a significant component of the Devon economy it makes less of a contribution locally than it does to the national economy. Manufacturing for example has fallen as a share between 1998 and 2008, growing at a rate of only 1.3% per year, although this has been higher than the national growth rate of 0.7%.
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