PwC: Regional outlook improving

The North West economy will grow by 0.7% in 2013 improving to 1.6% in 2014, according to PwC's annual UK Economic Outlook report published today.

The report claimed there was a 1.2% rise in the region's total employment over the past three years, from the start of 2010 to the start of 2013.

However, while there has been a 6% increase in the total number of workers aged between 50 and 65, the region experienced a 2.4% drop in employment for 16-24 year olds.

Nationally the report predicts that UK GDP growth is likely to pick up gradually to around 1% in 2013, rising to around 2% in 2014. PwC said this was "slightly more optimistic than both the Office for Budget Responsibility and consensus forecasts, reflecting recent generally positive data about UK economic growth."

Ian MarsdenIan Marsden, partner and property expert, PwC Manchester said: "These projected figures are positive news for the region after a period of generally disappointing growth in 2011 and 2012. And if our expected UK GDP growth is achieved it would make us the best performing of the large EU economies boosting the region's confidence further.

"Growth in the North West continues to be led by the services industry. However, surveys suggest that the manufacturing and construction sectors are showing signs of stabilising and we would expect these sectors to return to modestly positive growth over the next 18 months."

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