Manchester to grow faster than Leeds and Liverpool over next three years, report says

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by David Prior

Manchester is forecast to be the strongest performing city in the UK for the next three years, according to new research.

The latest Ernst and Young Regional Forecast, released today, predicts the city will enjoy economic growth of 2.4% for every year until 2020.

That compares to 2.2% for London and an average of 1.8% for the rest of the UK.

The report measures economic growth through gross value added (GVA), which tracks the value of goods and services.

But it also found that growth is going to be much less impressive in other key Northern cities, including Liverpool (1.4%) and Leeds (1.7%), while the North East as a whole will see the weakest growth in the country, at 1.2% per year.

London is also expected to enjoy the fastest increase in regional employment up to 2020, growing at an average of 0.8% per year.

Technology will be a key component of UK growth, with the ICT sector expected to achieve GVA growth of 3.5%. Manufacturing is also forecast grow by 1% over the same time period.

Debbie O'Hanlon, EY national markets leader, said: "The strong GVA performance - both historic and projected - for Manchester reflects the substantial investments made over more than a decade in revitalising the city centre and the surrounding business infrastructure.

"This has allowed the city to strengthen and diversify its local economy and ensure it can capture growth waves and avoid being overexposed to a slowdown in a single sector."