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The annual European Regional Economic Growth Index 2013 from LaSalle Investment Management (more widely known as the E-REGI) threw up some interesting anomalies this year. The survey traditionally compiles an index based on the cities and regions in Europe with the best economic perspectives, using a proprietary yardstick base on a special LaSalle house recipe combining real estate data, input from project developers, relative pricing and industrial growth forecasts, to create a ranking of Europe’s top locations.
The survey this year covered 300 distinct regions in 32 countries across Europe, covering a population base of more than 730m inhabitants. The published results concentrate on the top 100 ranked cities or regions with more than 500,000 inhabitants.
Not surprisingly, Germany is the country with the most cities ranked in the Top 100, with a total of 15. Four of these cities are in the Top 20. However, Germany’s performance overall weakened slightly in this year’s readings. Munich, Germany’s top city, fell from 2nd to 4th in the ranking due to poorer employee growth forecasts, likewise Stuttgart and Frankfurt fell from 7th to 10th, and from 11th to 14th respectively, again due to poor employment outlooks. Berlin jumped fourteen places to 32nd on the strength of good job prospects and a higher concentration on research and development, along with a buoyant internet and technology sector. It offers good growth prospects for both companies and retailers.
London was able to defend its position as the top European city and had its highest score since 2007. The Norwegian capital Oslo is this year at Nr. 2, thanks to strong economic growth, accumulated wealth, and a diverse and dynamic economic base. Paris is again Nr. 3, up from last year’s 4th, based on its leading position in R&D, along with a blossoming high-tech sector, a major transport hub, growing health and pharmaceutical industry and its traditional cosmetic, aerospace and automotive industries.