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PwC: UK cities surpass pre-crisis peak

Nov 08
Tags: PwC
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PwC: UK cities surpass pre-crisis peak

Management consultants looking for career opportunities across the UK will welcome new research from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) showing that most British cities and local enterprise partnership areas have surpassed their pre-crisis peak, based on various performance metrics.

The 2016 Good Growth for Cities Index, produced by PwC in partnership with the think-tank Demos, assessed several locations by looking at factors such as jobs, income, work-life balance, travel-to-work times and business start-ups.

Overall, Oxford and Reading were the highest-ranked cities, followed by Edinburgh, Southampton and Bristol.

Oxford and Reading benefited from relatively high rates of new business start-ups, which was a new category added to this year's index.

Looking outside the south-east, the report noted that both Edinburgh and Aberdeen have consistently featured as top-ten performers, showing that a city's ability to attract investment and skills is not dependent on its proximity to London.

The capital itself continues to deliver jobs, but was held back by issues such as housing affordability, transport congestion and income inequality.

Across all locations, the biggest drivers of higher scores since the 2012-14 study have been falling unemployment and higher numbers of new businesses.

Looking forward, PwC highlighted a number of key considerations for cities that want to guarantee further growth, one of the biggest of which is Brexit and the risks and opportunities it could bring.

John Hawksworth, the firm's chief economist, said: "All the elements of our Good Growth index could be impacted by Brexit to some degree.

"Starting up new businesses, for example, could suffer as a result of increased economic uncertainty. On the other hand, changing trade relations and regulations after Brexit, the shock to the status quo and the potential opening up of new markets outside the EU could create opportunities for new entrants."

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Image: iStock/alice-photo

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