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PwC Good Growth for Cities Report 2023

Cardiff has built on last year’s rapid improvement in the Demos-PwC Good Growth for Cities Index, jumping ten places to 20th as a result of its strong performance on indicators such as work-life balance and income distribution, and skills, especially in younger people. Swansea is in 34th place.

The analysis highlights the role of knowledge-intensive services in Cardiff’s ongoing progress, with around a fifth of the city’s workforce employed in these sectors, and especially the creative community anchored on the BBC’s presence in the city. There is also evidence that Bristol’s strength in the creative sector is spilling over into Cardiff due to its proximity.

Cardiff’s strong manufacturing base, with each worker contributing £91,200 of GVA vs £78,000 for the UK average, provides opportunities for future growth. By targeting growth in manufacturing, local leaders can drive average productivity and capitalise on an existing comparative advantage.

The Index, now in its 11th year, seeks to show that if growth is essentially about improving the prosperity, opportunities and wellbeing of the general public, the focus must go beyond traditional measures of economic success, such as gross domestic product (GDP) or gross value added (GVA).

The Index covers a list of broad measures of economic factors the public identifies as most important to their work and finances, and which are therefore essential for judging economic success. It then compares the performance of the largest 50 UK cities, plus the London boroughs as a whole, against those measures. The 12 economic wellbeing factors include jobs, health, income, safety and skills, as well as work-life balance, housing, travel-to-work times, income equality, high street shops, environment and business startups.

The Index also forecasts future economic (GVA) growth; in both 2023 and 2024, Cardiff and Swansea are expected to grow at above the national average. Against a backdrop of low economic growth, both cities are forecast to grow at 0.1% in 2023 and 0.9% in 2024 – in part due to the sectoral composition of their economies. Both have an above-average level of activity in the health and social work sector, which is expected to be the third-fastest growing industry over the next two years.

You can read the report by following this link: