Most of the top 10 fastest-growing city economies by the end of next year will be in the South or East of England, new research suggests.
The Government’s levelling up agenda will fail to take off unless more is done to help local economies in other parts of the UK.
The dominance of London and the South East for foreign direct investment levels contributes to the contrast in economic outcomes between the South and North of England, law firm Irwin Mitchell said.
Its report, produced by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), said that out of 50 locations studied, over half of the slowest growing economies are expected to be in the North of England.
Warrington is expected to be the fastest growing city in the North by the end of next year, but it only comes in 20th place.
Economic growth and employment
The top 10 fastest growing economies by the end of 2023 are predicted to be Milton Keynes, Peterborough, Reading, Oxford, Brighton, Inner London, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Southampton and Swindon.
Best growth in employment are tipped to be Cambridge, Oxford, Stoke-on-Trent, Inner London, Chelmsford, Leeds, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Manchester.
The report added that at the other end of the scale, the slower growing cities are all home to declining industries, such as Aberdeen, Wolverhampton, Belfast, Hull and Plymouth.
Bryan Bletso of Irwin Mitchell said: “The whole of the UK has a lot to offer and the regions which benefit most from investment from abroad are likely to see more growth and job creation in the coming years.”
Josie Dent, of the Cebr and one of the report’s authors, said: “The economy is still expected to face some turbulence between now and the end of next year, notably through volatility in commodity prices, supply chain pressures, and the emerging cost-of-living crisis domestically.
“This report highlights that much of the fastest growth during next year will be concentrated in the South. Locations such as Milton Keyes, Cambridge and Oxford have economies which are dominated by fast-growth sectors and they have also been hotspots for overseas investment.
“If economic levelling up is to be tackled effectively, these two issues must be recognised and quickly addressed.”