Greater Manchester economy growth outstripping London

The economy of Greater Manchester has grown faster than London’s in the three years since the Northern Powerhouse initiative was launched, according to new research.

UK Powerhouse report, which is produced with the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), provides a quarterly estimate of GVA and job creation within 45 UK cities 12 months ahead of the Government’s official figures.

According to UK Powerhouse, the economy of Greater Manchester has grown by 7.5% since the end of June 2014. Inner London’s GVA grew by 6.9% during the same period, whilst the economy of Cambridge, currently the fastest growing in the UK, expanded by 7.1%.

The figures are even more favourable for the city of Manchester where the economy is reported to have grown by 9.1% since June 2014 – the highest posted figure within the study during that period.

Job creation in Greater Manchester since the launch of the Northern Powerhouse by the then Chancellor George Osborne, has however only grown by 4.3%, much lower than in London which boosted its headcount by 7.3%, says the study.

Highlighting the fact that more needs to be done to rebalance UK economy, the report predicts the Manchester’s economy will grow by 14.8% in the next 10 years, compared to 16.1% for London and 22% in fast-growing Milton Keynes.

Roy Beckett, regional managing partner at Irwin Mitchell in Manchester, said: “It is of course very encouraging to see the Manchester economy performing well over the last three years, but it’s important to remember we are still at the start of the devolution journey here in the North West.

“Our new metro mayor Andrew Burnham now needs to build on the city’s strengthening skill base and momentum in the tech sector and increase education spending.

“Manchester is well diversified economy integrating a strong media sector, rich scientific development and high tech digital start-ups. The city’s prospects are bright, but we must maintain the momentum that we have built in the last three years.”

Jack Coy, Economist at Cebr, said: “Despite the UK-level economic slowdown over the first quarter, it is good to see some bright sparks in local economies across the country. In particular, the best performing cities have benefitted from a combination of cutting-edge, productive industries and high-skilled workforces.

“Once again, this quarter’s City Tracker highlights the productivity of concentrated industry hubs and the power of urban agglomerations.”

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