Southern Locations Continue To Dominate
City economies in the South East will grow most quickly in 2020, but half of the locations in the top 10 for the fastest employment growth will be in the Midlands, the North and Scotland, says a new report by Irwin Mitchell.
According to the law firm’s latest UK Powerhouse study, Reading will have the fastest growth in GVA in the 12 months to Q4 2020, followed by Portsmouth and Exeter.
Portsmouth along with Sunderland and Swansea are the only cities that are forecasted to see a year-on-year acceleration of economic growth between Q3 2019 and Q4 2020.
The report, which has been produced by the Centre for Economics & Business Research (Cebr), attributes Portsmouth’s growth to its large port and naval dockyard and the £700m of non-EU trade it handles each year.
The picture for the North remained mixed when it came to employment growth.
According to the report, Stoke alongside Cambridge and Inner London are expected to see the fastest employment growth rates in the year to Q4 2020, all with increases of over 2.0%. However, four locations – Stockport, Wakefield, Swansea and Belfast - are expected to see negative employment growth in the same time period.
UK Powerhouse said Inner London is set to continue to thrive as an employment hub in 2020. It says that while Brexit will pose a threat to some industries, such as finance where the loss of passporting rights will limit the ability for banks to do business, the city will remain an attractive investment choice.
Boosted by tourism and increased spending in hotels, bars and restaurants, Liverpool is expected to see the fastest employment growth in the North in the year to Q4 2020 (1.8%). The report forecasts that Leeds will see the fastest rate of employment growth in Yorkshire (1.2%) in the year to Q4 2020, thanks to its buoyant tech sector and connectivity to London.
Expert Opinion“Although most cities will see a slowing of growth in the coming quarters, there are clusters of activity and opportunity, as shown in this report. In particular, Reading, Portsmouth and Exeter are all expected to see relatively fast paced growth in the year to Q4 2020, showing resilience in the face of Brexit-related uncertainty and a global economic slowdown.” Victoria Brackett - Group Chief Commercial Officer
All Powerhouse forecasts in this report utilise Cebr’s central Brexit scenario. Cebr’s central forecasts are based on the assumption that the UK will reach an agreement with the EU and that a transitional arrangement will be put in place. On the immigration policy, we rely on the lower immigration population estimates assuming that a visa system will be implemented for EU nationals, but that the requirements (e.g. the minimum salary, the NHS surcharge payment, the application fees, etc.) would be more relaxed than they currently are for non-EU nationals requiring a visa.