Bristol forecasted to be one of the UK’s fastest growing cities until 2020

Andrew Perkins

Bristol is set to be one of the UK’s fastest growing cities over the next three years with Gross Value Added (GVA) of 2.3%, as cities in Southern England are forecast to outperform those located across the rest of the country.

According to EY’s UK Regional Economic Forecast, Bristol is expected to grow faster than London’s 2.2% and the UK average of 1.8%.

Bristol’s growth will also outpace the broader South West with forecasted growth of 1.7% until 2020.

Exeter is also set to be a strong performing city, with 2.3% GVA growth until 2020.

EY’s forecast says there has been little progress on geographical rebalancing of the UK’s economy in the last three years and the economic divide between the North and South of the UK will continue to expand (albeit at a slower rate than previously) leading up to 2020.

London and the South East will continue to outperform all other UK regions through to 2020 with GVA growth per year of 2.2% and 2.0% respectively.

Employment in the South West shows a strong increase, with 54,000 more jobs in June 2017 than in the previous year.

Looking ahead to 2020, total employment in the South West is expected to increase by 0.3% per year – just behind the UK average of 0.4%.

Andrew Perkins, Senior Partner at EY in the South West, says: “The South West is forecast to grow at a faster rate than the majority of UK regions, with only London, the South East and Midlands’ economies growing ahead. Previous forecasts have set the region’s growth at 1.3% so it’s positive to see the South West exceeding this – up to 1.7% GVA by 2020.

“With Bristol forecast to grow by 2.3% a year until 2020, the city is finally punching above its weight and is expected to be one of the fastest growing UK cities over the next three years, behind Reading and Manchester both growing at 2.4% GVA. This is underpinned by professional and back office services and real estate driving growth across the South West.”