Finance and creative to drive growth in Manchester

David McCourt

Greater Manchester's Forecasting Model predicts financial and creative industries are the most likely sectors to drive the conurbation's growth over the next decade.

The latest quarterly edition of New Economy's Manchester Monitor, an analysis of current trends in the sub-regional economy, shows a number of reasons to be optimistic for the year ahead.

It is expected that financial and professional services will produce more than 45,000 jobs within the next 10 years, accounting for 40% of Greater Manchester's GVA growth.

According to the report, over the same period, the creative industries could bring an estimated 23,000 new jobs to Greater Manchester – growth of 13%.

The datasets provided within the monitor also demonstrate that Greater Manchester's businesses have shown resilience throughout tough trading conditions. Statistics from the English Business Survey indicate that 75% of firms in Greater Manchester have reported their levels of output were either higher or remained the same in Q3 of 2012 when compared with Q2. Looking ahead, 44% of businesses expected their output to be higher in Q4 2012 than Q3.

The jobseeker markets also demonstrated a slight improvement, having shown a decline of 1,100 jobseeker allowance claimants between October and November 2012. The drop has been attributed to the temporary seasonal vacancies in the run up to Christmas. However, on an annual basis the overall number of JSA claimants is 1,600 higher than the same time in 2011.

Baron Frankal, director of economic strategy at New Economy, said: "Our latest Manchester Monitor demonstrates plenty of areas that should keep spirits high over the coming months.

"Significant growth is expected to come from financial services and the creative industries in the next year and beyond. This is in addition to other sectors that are also expected to strengthen Greater Manchester's economy going forward, particularly manufacturing which is estimated to increase its current GVA output by £1.3bn in the next ten years.

"As always, there continues to be cause for concern, particularly with regards to employment levels in Greater Manchester and the currently stagnant housing market. Unfortunately there isn't a one-stop solution but a continued nudge towards growth markets driven by robust policies – as is demonstrated by current efforts to boost our local textiles trade – will be positive steps in the right direction."

January's Manchester Monitor can be seen in full on the New Economy website.

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