2017 was an impressive year for Western Europe after the region recorded its highest level of real GDP growth in a decade, of 2.7%. The region is expected to continue on its path of economic growth, with its cities in Ireland and Sweden taking a leading role. Taking into account the larger economies of the region, according to Euromonitor International’s forecasts, the five cities of Cork, Dublin, Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmo will top real GDP growth across Western Europe over 2017-2022.
Rapid economic growth of the sort apparent in Asian economies, particularly China,over the last two decades is no longer a characteristic of Western Europe. Western Europe is still renowned for its affluence,political stability and ease of doing business.
Consumer market size is an important concept, since it gauges the potential economic worth of a region, city of country. For this reason, to ensure the cities being presented in the report are ofample size, only ones with a GDP larger than that of the Western European median will be analysed.
The Republic of Ireland’s second largest city – is asserting itself as the country’s leader in terms of economic growth. The national government’s Ireland2040 plan, published in February2018, envisages Cork as being the major counterbalance to Dublin in guiding economic development in the country.
Since 2008, which saw Ireland experience a major economic contraction, the country has bounced back. Dublin, for instance, has been Western Europe’s high flying major city, with real GDP per capita racing away by 65% over 2012-2017 in real terms.
Stockholm has witnessed a major surge in population over the past couple of years, largely due to rising migration flows. In 2017, the city welcomed 25,100 net migrants – the highest figure recorded according to Passport Cities data.
Gothenburg is Sweden’s second largest city after Stockholm, with a population of one million in2017.
Part of the Oresund region in southern Sweden, is the country’s third largest by population. In 2017, Malmo metropolitan was home to706,900 people – an increase of41,600 people since 2012.
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