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Recession hits Manchester three times harder than Belfast as UK recovery prospects diverge

  • Manchester records 11.8% annual drop in economic vitality rating
  • Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Nottingham and Liverpool also hit hard
  • Belfast proving most resilient with vitality index down by 3.6%
  • London continues to show recovery 

New research shows how the economic prospects for UK cities continue to diverge in the face of recession. During 2022, Manchester was three times harder hit than Belfast and was bottom of a league table of major UK cities.  

The latest Evaluate|Locate Key Cities Tracker reports that Manchester saw its Economic Vitality Index (EVI) drop by 11.8%. This put it at the bottom of the economic vitality ranking and below Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Nottingham and Liverpool which occupied the other positions at the foot of the table.

At the other end of the scale, whilst all the cities tracked have experienced a contraction in economic vitality, Belfast was the least impacted with a 3.6% index drop.

London was severely impacted during the pandemic, but is now showing signs of recovery. Its EVI rating fell by  4.7% during 2022 and it has risen to second place in the latest ranking.

Created by JPES Partners, Evaluate|Locate rates every location across the UK – from postcode detail upwards – on the basis of 96 economic metrics which are grouped around business density; labour market conditions; average residential values; and population movements.

Adam Kirby, Head of Data & Insights at Evaluate|Locate, comments: “Recession is no longer news but the question now is where will economic damage begin to slow and eventually turn to recovery.

“Being able to track this divergence of economic performance is of huge relevance for both UK businesses and investors as they plan their strategies.”