After unprecedented growth in recent years, the regional economies need to prepare themselves for more challenging conditions, according to a report co-published yesterday by the Treasury. The document, an action plan for north-east England, said funding for new ventures had become harder to secure and businesses were reporting falling output and orders.

Growth in company profitability had stalled and property regeneration had been hit. 'We mut face up to the fact there are now clear signs the slowdown is hitting jobs in the region,' said the report.

Financial Times