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Recession to affect Wales the least in the UK

Northern Ireland and Wales are forecast to be least affected parts of the UK as the economy enters into one of its toughest years since the Second World War.

The Centre for Economics and Business Research’s CEBR regional prospects report finds that the long time bottom of the league regions will move to the top of the rankings.

Yet, with economic output in Northern Ireland and Wales still contracting by 2.4 per cent in 2009 there will be little cause for celebration.

Northern Ireland is forecast to see 16,094 job losses in 2009 while Wales will see 27,465 job losses.

London meanwhile is forecast to be the worst affected part of the UK as its disproportionately high reliance on financial and business services, will be particularly affected.

While the downturn will not spare any of the regions, CEBR now forecasts that GVA growth in the capital will decline by a staggering 3.4 per cent in 2009, making it the worst performing region in the United Kingdom in 2009.

There will be an estimated 147,443 job losses in 2009 according to the CEBR.

CEBR managing director Mark Pragnell said: “The public sector will be the only growth industry in 2009.

“While this means that some of the regions will be somewhat cushioned from the worst of the economic downturn, this will not save them from a major recession over the next year.”