By Daniel Hunter
The UK's GDP could be up to five per cent higher if our infrastructure matched that of our overseas competitors.
That is the headline finding of a report identifying the impact new infrastructure has on the wider economy from leading business analysts the Centre for Economic and Business Research (Cebr) on behalf of the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA).
The report, Securing Our Economy: The Case For Infrastructure, makes the following headline findings:
- The average cost of the UK's having infrastructure which fell short of typical developed economy standards was £78 billion annually between 2000 and 2010;
- UK GDP could have been five per cent higher, on average, each year between 2000 and 2010 if our infrastructure had matched that of other leading global economies;
- If we bring UK infrastructure up to the standard of other developed economies, this could contribute £100 billion to the economy annually by 2026;
- For every 1,000 jobs that are directly created in infrastructure construction, employment as a whole rises by 3,050 jobs;
- For each £1 billion increase in infrastructure investment, UK-wide GDP increases by a total of £1.30 billion, and every £1 billion of infrastructure construction increases overall economic activity by £2.842 billion.
"The UK has paid a high price for having infrastructure which has fallen short of our competitors," Daniel Solomon, Cebr economist and author of the report, said.
"We estimate GDP might have been about 5% higher over the past decade if the UK's infrastructure quality had been in line with countries like Switzerland and the Netherlands.
"This research has shown that improving UK infrastructure quality could help us to catch up with some of the world's most competitive countries, giving UK businesses the connectivity they need to add real value to the economy.
"If UK infrastructure were raised to the quality standard achieved by our international competitors, we estimate that this could add roughly £100 billion to annual GDP by the mid-2020s."
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