Reading is set to achieve GVA of 2.5% over the next three years – growing faster than London’s 1.9% GVA - according to EY’s UK Region and City economic forecast.
The city is also expected to experience fastest employment growth of all UK cities (that EY’s report covers), with 0.9% growth and 3,000 more jobs by 2019.
Richard Baker, EY’s office managing partner in Reading said: “This is our first region and city forecast since the EU referendum and it’s positive to see Reading’s strong economic performance outpacing London and the wider South East.
“This growth is reflective of the region’s position within the M4 growth corridor, we well as its ability to absorb jobs relocating from London.
“These conditions have meant the region is able to grow quicker than the rest of the UK, and we continue to see investment that will further grow our economy.”
As the UK’s fastest growing sector, digital accounts for 25% of Reading’s GVA, and this together with growth in key sectors such as ‘professional, scientific and technical’ and ‘administration and support services contributes to its strong performance.
According to the forecast, London and the South East are set to be the joint fastest growing regions with GVA of 1.9% per year to 2019 – compared with UK average of 1.5%.
The Thames Valley region is expected to grow ahead of the UK average at 2.1% annual GVA growth until 2019.
Nigel Horton-Baker, executive director of Reading UK CIC, the economic dDevelopment company for Reading, welcomed the report.
He said: “Strong location advantages, massive investment in office stock and transport infrastructure, high wages and a highly skilled workforce are making Reading increasingly attractive as a base for companies and their employees, forced out of London by spiralling prices.”
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