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London outperforms UK economy again in sign capital could swerve recession

London is outperforming the nationwide economy, indicating the capital is on course to avoid what experts think will be a long recession in the UK, a new survey out today shows.

An index of business output in London compiled by NatWest jumped to 50.2 last month, up from 48.2, meaning the capital’s economy is growing.

At a UK level, activity contracted for the fifth month in a row, with the same index in December dropping below the 50 point threshold that separates growth and contraction.

The figures offer further evidence illustrating the capital’s economy is resisting roaring inflation and higher interest rates better than the rest of the country.

According to the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, around a quarter of the capital’s firms tried to take on more staff last quarter, the highest proportion since they started tracing the data.

The positive surveys suggest London will lead the UK back to economic strength if it does tip into what the Bank of England has forecast will be the longest recession in a decade.

Data last week showed the UK economy unexpectedly grew 0.1 per cent in November, meaning the country may have narrowly avoided a recession last year.

Sir Howard Davies, a former deputy governor at the Bank of England and now chair of NatWest, told the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg programme yesterday he thinks the country is not currently in a recession.

“The simplest thing to think about the economy is it’s flatlining at present,” Davies said.


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