Moderate Gains Give The City Firm Foundations To Build On
A new report published today suggests that Bristol will witness a positive uptick in both economic output by the end of this year, transforming its position from the end of 2020.
The latest UK Powerhouse report prepared by Irwin Mitchell and the Centre for Economic and Business Research (Cebr) reveals that Bristol could only manage mid-table in the top 50 cities for economic output and was in the bottom five for employment growth in 2020.
By the end of Q4 2021, Bristol is expected to witnesses a modest change in fortunes, rising from 26th to a top 20 spot for economic output, with a year-on-year GVA increase of 6.7%. This represents a £900m increase in the size of the city’s economy, taking the total value to £14.1bn
The majority of towns and cities in the report are expected to lose jobs between the end of 2020 and the end of 2021. Bristol is no different and is predicted to see its headcount reduce by 0.5% - equivalent to 1,600 positions.
UK Powerhouse makes several recommendations to tackle the difficulties business face coming out of lockdown. These include the need to take advantage of policies to encourage investment and improve skills and local government having bespoke plans in place to support job creation.
The UK Government should also prioritise implementation of the TCA with as little disruption as possible to businesses and negotiate a smoother trading relationship with the EU post Brexit.
Expert Opinion“Last year’s employment figures were a disappointment, but the city is projected to bounce back by the end of this year, to go just outside the top 20 for year-on-year employment growth and 15th for economic output.
“Bristol did have a lot of ground to make up, which may explain the figures, but with only 36% of cities in the report expected to increase employment levels by the end of 2021, the figures are better than many might have predicted.
“The end of lockdown restrictions, coupled with the end of furlough makes prediction difficult, but Bristol looks well positioned to face the challenges that undoubtedly lay ahead.
“The region may not be as exposed as others to ongoing Brexit uncertainty, but while a strength in the short term, giving a boost to exports and those SMEs who can drive the recovery could make long terms sense, giving the region another means to drive output and jobs.” Victoria Brackett - Group Chief Commercial Officer