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Beauty worth £28.4bn to UK economy

A breakthrough report commissioned by the British Beauty Council has found that the beauty industry made a total contribution of £28.4bn to UK gross domestic product (GDP) ­in 2018 – more than motor manufacturing and publishing.

More than half of this contribution (£14.2bn) came from directly from the industry itself from retailers, manufacturers and advertisers, while £5.9bn was generated along the industry’s domestic supply chain (known as the ‘indirect’ impact), and a further £8.4bn was contributed as a result of workers in the beauty industry and its supply chain spending their wages (the ‘induced’ impact).

Consumer spend on beauty products and services totalled £27.2bn last year and was a key driver of the value generated by the industry, according to the report. £3.2bn was spent on cosmetics alone.

The report also found that the sector supported 590,500 jobs, equating to one in every 60 jobs in the UK economy. In addition, the industry contributed  £7bn in UK tax revenues in 2018, which is equivalent to the combined salaries of 250,000 nurses and midwives.

Furthermore a total of 65,550 people achieved beauty-related vocational qualifications in 2018, demonstrating the beauty industry’s contribution to the UK’s productive potential.

The newly-formed British Beauty Council worked with insight and strategy consultancy BritainThinks to develop a comprehensive definition of the beauty industry, which global economic and industry research company Oxford Economics used as the basis to compile the Value of Beauty report.

The British Beauty Council maintains that until now, there has been a lack of public understanding of the importance of the beauty industry to the UK economy, and that this report offers the first official valuation of the sector.

Millie Kendall, CEO of the British Beauty Council, says: "Beauty is a force for good both in the UK and globally. Our Value of Beauty report is a crucial first step in achieving recognition for the huge impact the beauty industry makes to the UK economy. Longer term, it’s about changing the reputation of beauty so that it’s recognised as the positive, dynamic and successful industry that it so clearly is. We don’t want to be fluffy any longer.”

Visit www.britishbeautycouncil.com to download a free copy of the full report.

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