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UK cities ‘on different paths’ as recession looms: the uneven decline in economic vitality

  • Decline in economic vitality up to four times faster in the UK’s worst-hit cities
  • Belfast, Glasgow and Sheffield the most resilient — even as recession turns growth negative
  • Aberdeen, Hull and Newcastle were hardest hit during the past 12 months

Whilst the UK as a whole is moving into recession, new analysis of economic vitality shows that its effects are likely to be uneven as some localised economies prove more resilient than others.

JPES Partners’ latest Evaluate|Locate Key Cities Tracker shows that the decline in economic vitality across 20 UK cities has been up to 4x worse in some locations than others.

During the 12 months to July 2022, Aberdeen saw a -8.8% decline in its Economic Vitality Index (EVI). Hull was the second worst-performing with a -8.3% drop followed by Newcastle (-8.3%), Manchester (-8.2%) and Swansea (-7.8%).

In contrast, during the same period, Belfast saw a fall of only -2.2% followed by Glasgow at -2.5%, Sheffield at -3.5% and Greater London at -3.7%.

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; earnings; employment levels; average residential values; and population movements.

Adam Kirby, Head of Data & Insights at Evaluate|Locate, comments:

“As we move into recession, it’s clear that the profound economic challenges we’re facing will not have a uniform impact across the country and many of our major cities are now on different paths.

“This mapping of location-specific economic vitality will be of relevance to where the Government deploys its ‘Levelling Up’ initiatives and should also inform where many business sectors choose to place future investment.”