Britain is going through a difficult time, when its sustained ability to punch above its weight, economically and diplomatically, is ebbing. The end of irrational exuberance found the country ill at ease with itself, with rising inequalities and unhealthy nationalism, just when it needs to eat a slice of humble pie and be fleet-footed in recognising that many of the traditional pillars of its strengths are collapsing. The need is to recognise other supports and partners and find a new common purpose after the pandemic. I live in hope.

doom and gloom, still

I donned my white coat today to present a quarterly economic outlook to our "LEP" which is the uk rediscovering that there is virtue in having business people sort-of help run a city. The main messages were remorselessly gloomy, with the local news picking me up on the fabled north south divide, youth unemployment, reaction to the euro deal and, again, unemployment; and again. They were also taken with the rather more optimistic item I did on our economic advisory panel, another on manchester outperforming the uk, on exports, on growth and then on the over 50s...

Attached File: 111012, QEO_LEP2.pdf

Attached File: QEO_October_2011.pdf

manufacturing: of modest criticality

Manchester was built on manufacturing, which turned a small town into a global driver of the industrial revolution, but it's been mostly downhill for the last 60 years or so. Now, it seems to have bottomed out and the slow move up the value curve and towards more service-based activity, pepped up by sterling's devaluation, gives hope for increased value, if not for employment...

Attached File: manufacturing.pdf

still banging on about china

Latest publication on this, with an honourable mention to brief local piece a couple of weeks ago. China is not for everyone. It is, though, the biggest economic prize on the planet, and the cities, firms and countries that crack the world's fastest growing economy will be the success stories of tomorrow...

Attached File: china-le.pdf

what might the euro (crisis) mean on the street ?

How does the euro crisis affect the businessperson on the street ? The euro area is manchester's largest market, so if they sneeze, we catch a cold - less people buying our companies' goods and services, less investment coming in...

Attached File: men, euro.pdf

what next ?

"Manchester is a city that plumbed the depths, picked ourselves up and had a good run. But what next ? If you don't know where you're going, all roads lead nowhere..." you can read the whole article on p26 of the current edition of DQ magazine...

Attached File: DQ3.pdf

ya boo birmingham

Rather rising to the bait of course, but couldn't resist a pop at our good friends down the m6, when my mate digby jones popped up to say manchester was seriously challenging his home patch to the rather dubious title of second city. "We compare ourselves to brussels and barcelona, not some mediocre english city a few miles south of mighty manchester" I think I said. Meanwhile, a somewhat weightier article yesterday (p14)...

Attached File: busdesk.pdf

doom and gloom

My research team puts out a monthly economic newsletter, that gets quite a lot of local coverage, and notably more so when the story is rather pessimistic, as we were this month, as several negative trends got sufficient critical mass for us to call a downturn, which is our broad, though not smooth, forecast. A successful call on the ecb rate hike, though hardly rocket science, earned me a special mention, taken from the attached article

Attached File: 110406, rate rise.pdf

one to watch

That's me, apparently. IPPR north, which I guess I must now say is an excellent think tank, has come up with its list of the 50 people to watch out for in the north of england. I get an honourable mention with some bright talent indeed. You can see the whole list here.

Attached File: northern lights.pdf

talent maketh the city

"Talent" is that thin layer on the top that makes all the difference. Incapable of precise definition, it is a small group of people, based on raw ability not worth or wealth, that make a massive difference, creating both monetary and social capital, building firms and communities, providing both the drive and glue that make things happen. I spoke today at an event designed to flag what we are doing in manchester to attract these flighty individuals. Politically difficult - as why should we spend brain power on people that don't even live here - but vital, the clear message is: we want you. Read the report here

Attached File: 110123, talent.doc

it's the governance, stupid

Some months ago now I was a respondent at a research conference (p6), picking up the themes of 3 papers on how the right governance at the right level positively affects economic growth, "strong, stable governance prioritises, reaps opportunity and deals with challenges..."

Attached File: focusn.pdf

Attached File: Final report of proceedings.pdf

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