Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

ECONOMY HAS 'SLOWED DOWN', SAY EXPERTS ; Experts Insist That the Economic Picture for Greater Manchester Is Positive Going Forward.

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

ECONOMY HAS 'SLOWED DOWN', SAY EXPERTS ; Experts Insist That the Economic Picture for Greater Manchester Is Positive Going Forward.

Article excerpt

GREATER Manchester's economy slowed down in the third quarter of 2015 but remains strong, a report out today reveals.

Manufacturing businesses noting a weakening in order books contributed to the 'slight slow down' in July, August and September.

But experts behind Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce's Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) believe the service sector is performing well and construction is undergoing a strong growth spurt.

Christian Spence, head of policy and research at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, said: "Despite the slight slow down in the Manchester Index to 31.3 (down from 32.4 last quarter) the index continues to indicate that the Greater Manchester economy is expanding at levels above those seen before the recession of 2008.

"British Chambers of Commerce recently revised up its economic forecast for 2015 to 2.6 per cent and to 2.7 per cent for the coming two years.

"We believe that the outturn for 2015 will be marginally higher, driven primarily by strong construction activity in our region which we maintain is being under-reported in the official data from the Office for National Statistics."

The Manchester Index is an early indicator of trends in both the Manchester and the UK economy.

Other findings from the QES show Greater Manchester exporters reporting continued growth consistent with long-term trends.

Recruitment levels also remain strong and employment growth is robust, according to experts behind the report.

They revealed that strong data from the construction sector is lifting the overall manufacturing data, but while both core manufacturing and the service industries have seen the rate of employment growth ease slightly, the level is favourable compared to that seen pre-recession.

According to the QES, around six out of 10 companies are currently attempting to recruit - rising to 80 per cent of construction companies - which is placing some pressure on the labour market as a whole. …

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