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Manchester's Doing A Bit Better - According To Manchester

Report shows we're doing ok

Published on August 2nd 2011.


Manchester's Doing A Bit Better - According To Manchester

NEW ECONOMY has released the August 2011 edition of the Manchester Monitor, which provides an analytical snapshot of the economic wellbeing of Greater Manchester. 

Good news comes from the hotel occupancy levels monitored by Visit Manchester, which reveal an average occupancy in June of 87% during weekends and 81% for the weekdays.  

This month’s analysis by Greater Manchester agency New Economy, whose purpose is to create economic growth and prosperity for Manchester, follows last week’s gloomy reports that Gross Domestic Product in the UK grew by only 0.2% in the second quarter of 2011 – although additional analysis by ONS does suggest the figure may have been closer to 0.7% if you factor in the impact of events such as the Japanese tsunami and the additional bank holiday. 

The August Monitor shows that long-term unemployment in Greater Manchester has continued to grow and that, despite an increase of job vacancies between May and June 2011, vacancies have declined on an annual basis. 

In housing, the Monitor reports an average property price of just over £107,000 in June, with property 4.3% cheaper than in June 2010.  However, sales currently stand at one-third of their peak levels and the cost of a typical property remains too high when compared to average salaries. 

While the national gloom has clearly impacted on Manchester, there are some strong positive signs this month. 

Good news comes from the hotel occupancy levels monitored by Visit Manchester, which reveal an average occupancy in June of 87% during weekends and 81% for the weekdays.  It is thought the boost is due to a number of major events taking place in the city, including Take That at the City of Manchester Stadium, Glee at the MEN Arena and the Manchester Day Parade.  

Manchester Airport’s passenger statistics also offer cause for optimism, showing a year-on-year increase of 10% in May 2011, bringing passenger numbers up to 1.74 million.  Forecasts provided by the airport show the numbers should increase into June, with levels expected to hit 1.9 million. 

Available office space has increased in the second quarter of 2011 to approximately 3.4 million sq. ft. whilst office take-up increased to 175,000 sq ft. Aegis, the global outsourcing provider, moves into City Tower in Manchester city centre later in 2011 – a move that is expected to create up to 600 new jobs. 

Baron Frankal, director of Economic Strategy at New Economy said: “There is no doubt the economic context is gloomy. However, this month’s Monitor has an unusual number of bright signs, giving a little more credence to our analysis that Greater Manchester has the right fundamentals to buck the trend and generate real economic growth going forward.”    

You can see this month

To see this month’s Manchester Monitor in full here

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