Book News: August 4th, 2009

There are few economic growth related indicators included within local area agreements, but a number of indicators relate to issues of economic inclusion and skills. This paper looks at the range and benefits of those indicators adopted across the 2008 LAA process.

Commonly selected indicators within LAAs provide only a crude approximation of overall economic activity within a locality. Any mismatch between targets and local economic issues is likely to reflect the LAA process which requires indicator selection from the national set, rather than poor local understanding. Major areas of economic development activity are not covere by existing indicators and a number of indicators require improvements in relation to their definitions and measurement.

There are a number of options for revising economic indicators in the national indicator set. They include revision of key elements of economic growth and sustainable economic development, improving the use of economic related local indicators as a means for reflecting local economic needs more precisely and developing new and more innovative indicators. A further option is to develop the capacities of local economic development stakeholders in relation to key areas such as sub-regional working, local analysis and private sector engagement, and to ensure that sustainable community strategies have a strong economic element and effective partnership arrangements to deliver this.