24 January 2017

A new study suggests that the economy of Greater Manchester could be £634 million larger by the end of 2017 than it was in the three months after the EU referendum result.

However, the report also reveals that none of the top 10 fastest-growing cities in 2017 will be in the Northern Powerhouse region.

According to the latest in the UK Powerhouse report series, the value of goods and services produced in Greater Manchester will grow by 0.7% during 2017 despite the challenges of Brexit uncertainty, rising inflation and falling investment by businesses.

Produced by the Centre for Economic and Business Research (Cebr) for law firm Irwin Mitchell, the City Growth Tracker report predicts that the value of the Greater Manchester economy will be £58.9 billion by the end of this year and that more than 22,000 jobs will have been created in the region.

Greater Manchester comprises 10 local authority areas: Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan. The region has a total population of some 2.8 million people.

Elsewhere, Cambridge, Oxford and Milton Keynes will have the fastest-growing economies this year, while Swansea, Belfast and Middlesbrough are expected to expand at the slowest rate.

Commenting on the findings, Cebr economist Jack Coy said: "The delayed effects of Brexit have been in the pipeline for a while and there will be some difficult economic pressures in 2017."

Those effects are likely to be felt throughout cities across the UK, he explained, and threaten to slow growth in the short and medium term.

With consumers feeling the pressure of rising prices and a labour market which has probably passed its peak, growth may slow across the country.

Reports in the UK Powerhouse series can be accessed at http://bit.ly/1ScgiAu.