Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce logo

Reading forecast to be the fastest-growing city in the country

February 19, 2019

Reading forecast to be the fastest-growing city in the country

AERIAL VIEW OVER THE ORACLE, READING

According to a recent report by EY, Reading is forecast to be the fastest-growing ‘city’ in the country, with 2.3% Gross Value Added (GVA) growth per year over the period 2018-2021.

Examining the economic outlook across the country’s regions and cities for the following three years, EY’s fourth annual UK Regional Economic Forecast puts Reading in first place above Manchester and London, whose estimated GVA growth rates are 2.2% and 2.1% respectively. And whilst the wider South East, as a result of slower growth in the services sector, is expected to grow at a rate equal to the UK’s average growth of 1.7%, both Reading and the Thames Valley (Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire) are anticipated to outpace this average.

Reinforcing Reading’s success in the report is the strength of its information and communications sector. Expected to expand by 3.5% per annum over the next three years, the sector already accounts for almost a quarter of Reading’s GVA and will account for almost one in every three jobs created in the area. Despite this, due to the relatively low labour-intensity of the sector, Reading’s expected employment growth (0.9%) is surpassed by Manchester and Birmingham.

Amongst other factors, a slowing economy and an expected reduction in immigration is expected to cause a significant change in pace to the country’s employment growth rate, from the 1.4% seen in the five years to 2018 down to a predicted 0.5% per annum. The South East is the only region of the UK in which employment growth is anticipated to advance in the next three years, reflecting recovery after a weak performance between 2015 and 2018.

Richard Baker, Managing Partner at EY in the Thames Valley, commented:

“The pace of economic growth in Reading and the Thames Valley is expected to continue accelerating over the next three years. This reflects the strengths of the region in terms of its highly skilled workforce, the employer base ranging from world-leading corporates through to fast-growth entrepreneurs, and the region’s sectoral composition, which in the case of the information and communications sector, is expected to drive growth via higher productivity. These conditions mean Reading and the Thames Valley are expected to continue to grow faster than other areas of the UK.”

The full report can be accessed here.

← back to Blog

About the author

Katherine Chapanionek

Katherine Chapanionek

We work alongside the Department for International Trade (DIT), the region’s Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), Local Authorities and professional service providers to support foreign direct investment (FDI) into the Thames Valley. Outside of London, the Thames Valley is consistently the highest performing region in attracting foreign-direct investment into the United Kingdom.

Add your comment

Sign in or sign up to leave a comment.

0 comments

Share this content
Global Brands
Find out which Global Brands call the Thames Valley home
Lifestyle & Environment
Explore the Lifestyle & Environment of the region

The Chamber of Commerce

Paul Britton
Chief Executive

We work alongside the Department for International Trade (DIT), the region’s Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), Local Authorities and professional service providers to support foreign direct investment (FDI) into the Thames Valley.

For the 2017/18 financial year, we are proud to report that the Thames Valley has retained its status as the number one region in the UK, outside of London, for attracting FDI. 191 FDI projects were recorded as entering the region, with a high proportion of these investors strongly supported by the Chamber.

Contact Paul Britton

New Blog articles

As part of the Government’s modern Industrial Strategy, Business Secretary Greg Clark and Digital Secretary Jeremy Wright have announced a nationwide government-industry package to support

Keep reading →

AERIAL VIEW OVER THE ORACLE, READING According to a recent report by EY, Reading is forecast to be the fastest-growing ‘city’ in the country, with 2.3% Gross

Keep reading →

This website is managed by:

Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce Group

The Thames Valley Chamber is a proven centre of excellence for International Trade and Inward Investment support services. Our team provides practical support to help inbound and established businesses reach their potential. We are one of the largest Chambers accredited by the British Chambers of Commerce in the UK and the only accredited Chamber in the region.

www.thamesvalleychamber.co.uk