Wales and North set for fastest growth

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The Independent Online
WALES and the North of England are likely to benefit most from the devaluation of the pound, while Greater London will gain the least, a report by Cambridge Econometrics says today.

Its latest assessment of regional economic prospects suggests that regions with a relatively strong manufacturing base will reap the greatest rewards.

A more limited boost to services following from devaluation has the biggest impact on the South- east, excluding London.

Scotland, in contrast, has yet to experience an outright recession, but will lose its advantage over the rest of the UK in the next few years despite the fastest regional growth rate in Britain this year.

The North, which in the past attracted inward investment and diversified industry away from traditional activities such as shipbuilding, is a leading beneficiary.

So, too, is Wales. Industrial restructuring during the past decade means it is well placed for longer-term growth.

The once booming South-east has been so badly affected by the recession that 'some parts are beginning to have a development area look about them', the report says.

Thus a forecast output recovery of 1.9 per cent this year follows a downturn of 3.9 per cent in 1991 and one of 1.3 per cent in 1992.