London – or, more specifically, Inner London-East – has topped a list of Europe's best performing cities and regions, according to US think tank The Milken Institute.
The ranking, based on metrics such as job creation, wage gains, manufacturing and skilled service industry concentration, places three of London's component regions among the top 279 evaluated. Outer London-West came in at number nine.
While Stockholm and Budapest rounded off the top three, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, and Oxfordshire came in at number seven, Leicestershire, Rutland, and Northamptonshire at 14 and Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire at number 18.
“Inner London-East is among the most dynamic economies in Europe, leading all large metro areas in job growth over the last five years,” said Minoli Ratnatunga, Milken Institute director of regional economic research and co-author of the study.
“We trace its economic rejuvenation to a combination of direct policy implementation – including the Big Bang that aided financial services and related growth in Canary Wharf – and organic entrepreneurial-led growth in a variety of digital content and technology areas.”
However, Ratnatunga noted most of the research was done before the Brexit vote and the economic impact of the transition is “yet to be fully assessed”.
Jasmine Whitbread, chief executive of business body London First, added: “East London's particular success shows how political will can underpin entrepreneurial zeal to create growth, investment and jobs across a number of major sectors.
“But, as we navigate Brexit, we will have to work hard to keep our capital at the top – and that means government delivering the right policies for continued access to talented people and building the homes and transport links they need. Not just in London, but across the whole of the UK.”
Overall, five UK cities or regions were ranked in the top 20, while four were in Poland.
The Milken Institute has been running its Best-Performing Cities index in the US for more than a decade, but this is the first time it has launched the research in Europe.