London in comparison with other global cities

Date published: 
24 August 2016

The key points from Current Issues Note 48 are:

  • London’s economy has grown at a faster rate than other Western cities like New York and Paris in real terms between 2006 and 2014. However, emerging global cities such as Shanghai and Singapore have seen rates of growth that were twice as fast. 
  • London’s economy is predominantly services driven with its largest sectors being Financial and Professional Services. Although other global cities are also orientated towards services, cities like Berlin and Shanghai have much larger manufacturing sectors.
  • In terms of labour productivity, London has some of the lowest estimates of output per job and output per hour. Moreover, while the average rates of productivity growth in London were similar to other Western global cities, they were weaker than emerging global cities like Singapore. These productivity differences cannot be explained by industrial composition or workforce characteristics like skills, but could be reflective of different definitions and data measurement approaches across the global cities.