A new index produced by the professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwS), called the Good Growth for Cities Index, measured the performance of 42 of the UK’s largest cities against ten indicators that are considered the most important when it comes to economic wellbeing.
The factors included jobs, income, skills and health, as well as housing, transport, work-life balance, business start-ups, environment and income distribution. The purpose of the index was to show that there is more to economic well-being than just measuring gross domestic product (GDP).
Overall, the factors that cities in the North West performed well on were work-life balance, house price to income and jobs, where the majority of cities fell well above the national average. The North West’s highest performing city was Preston which came in at 12th place, jumping up one place from last year. The city continued its positive momentum after being named the ‘most improved city’ in the previous year. Preston was particularly strong when it came to job prospects, health and new businesses, where it had an above average rating for all.
Cities in the North West have shown the most improvement throughout the whole of the UK. Liverpool was in fact named as the second most improved after the West Yorkshire city of Bradford - increasing its index score by an impressive 0.64. Manchester also made it into the top 10 of the most improved cities, where it’s index score had risen by 0.39 since the previous year. This was primarily driven by an improvement in new businesses and skill sets for people aged 25 and over. Greater Manchester as a whole performed well in the index’s Combined Authority rankings, coming in third overall. The area saw a spike in new businesses coming into the area, which in turn, has caused house prices to increase - making Greater Manchester less affordable for those looking to get on the local property ladder.
Adam Waller, PwC’s Manchester Office Senior Partner said; “It’s pleasing to see cities like Preston, Liverpool and Manchester continuing to make a positive impact within this years’ index which is testament to the vibrant and sustainable economy which is being created across the North West.
“Building and creating ongoing working relationships between business, Combined Authorities and LEP’s is vital to ensure that this positive momentum is maintained.
“It’s essential that in order for the region to prosper post-Brexit we all need to ensure we play our part.”
This year has proven to be very prosperous for the North West. The region’s economy continues to go from strength-to-strength while improving the living standards for its growing population. This is exactly why investors should be looking at this region to make their next buy-to-let investment.
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