Region set for return to growth next year

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YORKSHIRE’S £80bn economy should return to growth next year, say experts.

Big Four accountancy firm PwC said the region’s output will keep pace with the rest of the UK and increase by 1.8 per cent in 2013.

Unsurprisingly, PwC said London and the South East will lead the “modest” recovery.

Gordon Singer, head of tax in Yorkshire, said that the gradually improving national economic outlook could offer Chancellor George Osborne some wriggle room in his forthcoming Autumn Statement on December 5.

Mr Singer said: “We believe that he should focus his firepower on measures to boost infrastructure investment in areas like roads and road maintenance that can come on stream quickly to support the struggling construction sector, while also strengthening the supply side capacity of the economy in the longer term.”

He added: “The recent report from Lord Heseltine urges greater devolution of Whitehall funds to the regions. This may also give the Chancellor an opportunity to reinvigorate regional economic development across all the UK regions alongside a clear cross-departmental vision of what is necessary to promote national economic growth.”

Roger Marsh, senior partner at PwC in Leeds, said there are “some sunny spells around anticipated economic growth, but the challenge of continuing to tackle unemployment and rebalance the economy will cast patchy cloud over recovery”.