Research Briefing | Oct 6, 2023

A benign growth outlook for European cities, with some bright spots

GDP growth in Europe’s major cities will be modest in 2024, with nearly half seeing a slowdown from 2023. However, given the backdrop of weakening activity across European countries, a loss of momentum is hardly surprising. And even with this difficult setting we still expect city GDP growth to, on average, outpace national economies.

What you will learn:

  • Within our 2024 GDP outlook, there are substantial differences among Europe’s cities. Some will be close to stagnation, while others will remain on a healthy growth path. We forecast that central and eastern European cities, including Bucharest, Budapest, and Warsaw, will see some of the strongest GDP growth in 2024.
  • For Europe’s largest city economies―London, Paris and Madrid―the picture is mixed. Madrid will remain one of Europe’s bright spots, sitting comfortably among the top half of the ranking table. For London and Paris, the outlook is much more subdued, and both are among the weaker city performers.
  • With the exception of London, Paris and also Stockholm, the growth laggards in our 2024 outlook tend to be cities that underperform over the longer term too. And in this group, there are some similar sectoral characteristics. Near the bottom of the pack are Birmingham and Lille, with their prospects for 2024 being restricted by a reliance on legacy manufacturing, and slow-growing public services.
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