City 'will add another 100,000 jobs by 2015'

THE CITY of London will continue to grow by as much as 7 per cent a year over the next 25 years, creating an additional 100,000 jobs by 2015, according to a report out today.

In Growth Prospects of City Industries, Professor Tim Congdon of Lombard Street Research says: "The study's forecasts are based on the identification and consideration of long-term changes in the world economy, such as the rapid growth of markets in countries such as China and India, rather than short-term expectations of business growth."

He continues: "We are seeing a long-term shift towards free trade and liberalisation, and the widespread privatisation of state industries throughout the world. These changes are going to continue, whatever happens in the short term."

Judith Mayhew, chairman of the City of London Corporation's policy and resources committee said central London stood to benefit from these changes.

"London is a financial centre with deep liquidity and an enormous volume of international trading," she said. "The corporation will take the lead necessary to prepare for the increase in office space and transportation links which will be needed to cope with this growth."

The report also challenges the argument that European Monetary Union could lead to the marginalisation of the City. It says pessimists on the City's prospects have failed to explain why particular forms of trade would cease to pass through London with the onset of the single currency.

The report calculates that City output has grown by 7 per cent a year since the 1970s, compared to overall GDP growth of 2 per cent. It says City employment has been growing by about 1. 5 per cent a year.

It suggests that there were about 275,000 workers in City-related jobs in the UK in 1995. Of these, it says about 195,000 worked in the Square Mile with a further 55,000 elsewhere in London.