News release

Contact:
Bruno Rost
Press Relations Manager, Business Strategies
+44 (0)115 96 85009 Tel
bruno.rost@uk.experian.com Email

Financial market turmoil narrows North South divide

Nottingham, UK, 8 May 2008 - The world-wide credit crunch will significantly dampen UK growth prospects and narrow the regional economic divide between the north and south, according to the latest Regional Planning report by Experian®, the global information services company and leading economic forecaster.

'Following an expansion of 3.0 per cent last year, UK GDP growth is forecast to slow to 1.8 per cent in 2008 and 1.5 per cent in 2009,' comments William Thomson of Experian.' The slowdown will bring the impressive run of job creation to a halt, with UK employment levels set to fall next year for the first time since 1992.

'Financial services jobs are particularly vulnerable as the fallout from the credit crunch continues. We expect net job losses in banking & insurance to total 40,000 over the period 2008-2011[1], with 19,000 of these in Greater London. The City of London will bear the brunt of the job losses in the capital, with firms expected to shed 10,000 jobs. Westminster and Tower Hamlets will also see lower financial services employment.'

The south[2] has enjoyed a clear performance advantage over the north in the past two years, growing 1 per cent a year faster on average. However, this gap is set to narrow significantly over the next couple of years. The credit crunch and consumer slowdown will impact on prospects for Financial & Business Services and Distribution, Hotels & Catering, key sectors for London and the other southern regions.

Next year the north-south growth division will disappear for the first time since 2002 chiefly because of the abrupt London slowdown. Thereafter the south will pull ahead again, but the yawning gaps of the recent past will not be repeated.

 

Regional forecast summary

Gross Value Added Growth 2007-2011

 

2007 (e)

2008 (f)

2009 (f)

2010 (f)

2011 (f)

North East

2.6

0.9

1.2

1.8

2.3

Yorkshire & the Humber

3.7

1.5

1.1

1.8

2.5

East Midlands

2.6

1.8

1.7

2.5

3.0

East of England

3.1

2.4

1.6

2.4

2.9

South East

2.7

2.0

1.6

2.6

3.2

London

4.3

2.3

1.5

2.5

3.1

South West

3.2

1.6

1.2

2.1

2.7

West Midlands

2.9

1.9

1.4

2.1

2.7

North West

2.0

1.3

1.6

2.2

2.7

Wales

3.5

1.1

1.2

1.8

2.5

Scotland

1.8

1.7

1.6

2.5

2.9

Northern Ireland

2.0

2.9

2.3

2.8

2.8

North

2.5

1.4

1.4

2.1

2.6

South

3.5

2.1

1.5

2.5

3.0

UK

3.0

1.8

1.5

2.3

2.8

Source: Experian, Spring 2008

Gross value added a similar measure of economic output and activity to GDP, but excluding taxes and subsidies

 

 

The housing market has been slowing sharply in the past six months and this is expected to continue. 'Tighter borrowing conditions and more expensive mortgages will bring about a decline in UK house prices of 7.6 per cent over the next two years,' commented William Thomson. 'But the boom of early 2007 was uneven regionally and the correction will be more severe in some regions than others.'

The largest declines in house prices are expected to be in the West Midlands and the South West, with values falling by 10 per cent by mid-2010 (see table). Both areas have seen demand significantly weaken in recent months. The South West is further handicapped by being one of the most expensive areas of the UK and by its reliance in recent years on 'second-home' demand to underpin the market.

The South East and East of England will see declines in excess of 5 per cent over the next couple of years. Affordability is lowest in these areas, with house prices more than 8 times income levels, and with banks tightening lending conditions this will result in falling prices.

'Winners and losers in the housing market do not fit a strict north-south pattern. Unlike the other regions in the south, prices in Greater London are expected to hold up. Relative to earnings, prices are less inflated in the capital than the rest of the south and housing shortages are severe. However, the capital is vulnerable to the risks of more widespread job losses and more restrictive credit conditions.'

House price forecasts by region

(percentage change

start-2008 to mid-2010)

 

North East

3.0

Yorkshire & the Humber

-4.1

East Midlands

-4.7

East of England

-5.1

South East

-5.5

London

-0.1

South West

-9.3

West Midlands

-10.0

North West

-0.2

Wales

3.6

Scotland

0.0

Northern Ireland

-0.9

UK

-7.6

Source: Experian, Spring 2008

 

 

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Regional Planning Service, Experian, Cardinal Place, 6th Floor 80 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 5JL

 

 

ENDS
 

 

Experian Group Limited is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index.  It has corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, and operational headquarters in Costa Mesa, California and Nottingham, UK.  Experian employs around 15,500 people in 36 countries worldwide, supporting clients in more than 65 countries.  Annual sales are $3.8 billion (£1.9 billion/?2.8 billion).



UK forecast summary

(Percentage change on year earlier unless stated)

 

2007(f)

2008 (f)

2009 (f)

2010 (f)

2011 (f)

 

 

 

 

 

 

GDP

3.0

1.8

1.5

2.2

2.7

Non-manufacturing output

3.3

1.9

1.7

2.6

3.0

Manufacturing output

0.6

1.0

0.2

0.6

1.3

Private services output

6.6

3.8

3.1

4.4

4.9

Productivity (output per worker)

2.0

1.4

1.7

2.3

2.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

Full-time equivalent employment

0.9

0.4

-0.2

0.0

0.5

Total employment

0.8

0.5

-0.1

0.1

0.6

 Manufacturing

-1.6

-1.2

-0.2

-0.7

-0.7

 Non-manufacturing

1.0

0.7

-0.1

0.2

0.7

Employment rate (percent of working population)

77.1

77.5

77.0

76.7

76.8

Unemployment (percent of workforce, ILO)

5.3

5.2

5.7

6.0

6.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total population

0.6

0.7

0.7

0.7

0.7

Working age population

0.5

0.6

0.5

0.5

0.4

 

 

 

 

 

 

Household disposable income

1.2

1.6

1.6

2.3

2.7

Household spending

3.0

1.6

1.4

2.1

2.8

House prices

10.9

0.6

-4.4

-1.3

1.1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Experian, Spring 2008

 

 

 



[1] On a full-time equivalent basis. Banking & Insurance covers SIC codes 65, 66 and 67.

[2] The south is Greater London, South East, East of England and South West