Manchester will become the fastest growing city outside of the south of England over the next three years, according to a report by EY.

It says Manchester’s recent strong performance shows what is possible with long-term economic focus, but investment in the Chancellor’s ‘Northern Powerhouse’ is unlikely to bear fruit until the next decade.

The new ‘EY UK region and city economic forecast’ predicts that the region’s economy will grow by 2 per cent a year in gross value added terms (GVA) between 2015 and 2018, compared with a wider UK average of 2.3 per cent.

This performance means that, over the next three years, the north west will be the UK’s sixth fastest growing region of 12 analysed, behind London (3 per cent), the South East (2.5 per cent), the East of England (2.4 per cent), the South West (2.2 per cent) and the East Midlands (2.1 per cent).

The north west is expected to experience GVA expansion of 1.8 per cent and employment growth of 0.8 per cent in 2015 alone, buoyed by the performance of Manchester.

It will be the fastest growing city outside of the south of England over the next three years, recording GVA expansion of 2.5 per cent a year– outpacing the wider UK thanks to its strength in the professional and digital sectors.

EY estimates that Manchester will see employment growth of 4,300 jobs in 2015, representing a rise of 1.2 per cent to outperform both the north west and the wider UK.

Professional, scientific and technical services are expected to lead this growth, gaining 1,300 jobs.

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