After big rebounds post Covid-19, the world economy is struggling. In 2023, many of our selected global cities and their countries will be in recession. Notwithstanding this economic growth estimates/projections for Greater London for 2022 and 2023 by the GLA and OBR indicate London outperforming the UK economy as a whole.
Inflation continues to dominate the economic picture across the countries of our global cities although big differences remain. Energy costs continue to be the single most important driver of inflation across Europe in particular. However, OECD projections indicate substantial falls in this cost pressure across the board in 2023 and 2024.
Employment and job vacancy levels for our cities have all shown signs of recovery in the last two quarters of 2022. However, New York and Hong Kong are still behind when compared to pre-Covid employment levels. Whilst Hong Kong and Paris have seen sustained increases in demand for workers, other cities are experiencing plateauing or falling levels of vacancies.
Compared to our four other global cities, London is succeeding in attracting Foreign Direct Investment. Although down from pre-pandemic levels, London continues to attract more FDI projects than any of its competitors analysed in this report.
Office vacancy rates are showing dramatic levels of variation. New York (Manhattan) is now running at more than eight times that of Paris (Central Business District) and Berlin. Central London rates appear to have levelled off.
Growth in prime office rents are diverging dramatically as well. Despite a flattening off in the rate of growth, London (West End) prices are growing by twice the amount Hong Kong’s is falling. Berlin rents recording robust growth in Q3, 2022.
Across the cities for which we have reliable public transport demand data, London’s figures compare favourably. New York City average subway ridership (on a quarterly basis) has still not exceeded 65% of pre-pandemic levels. London Underground, hit average of 80% the pre-Covid-19 benchmark level during November 2022.
New York continued to surpass all our global cities in airport passenger numbers until major disruption hit the US and Canada, caused by an enormous snow storm. In Hong Kong, the lifting of many quarantine restrictions required of travellers in late September 2022 signalled dramatic increases in passenger numbers towards the end of the year.
London, Paris, Berlin and New York have seen a steady recovery in Airbnb occupancy rates in 2022 as international visitors return. With travellers to Hong Kong no longer required to undergo quarantine at a designated hotel, we expect to see rates for the territory pick up in Q4 2022 data.
London is the leading city for electric car ownership, with 5.9 licensed electric cars per 1,000 population in Q2 2022. Berlin closely follows London’s progress in EV ownership, with 5.2 registered electric cars per 1,000 of the population in Q2 2022.
When measured in terms of download speed, London consistently has the worst quality broadband of any of our global cities for which data is available. In contrast New York City had the third fastest average download speeds for any city in the world.