ECONOMIC growth in Brighton and Hove is outstripping the rest of the country.

The economy expanded by 5% in 2013 compared to 3% regionally and nationally, official figures show.

The value of goods and services produced per head went up by 3.75%, while the national figure was 2.5% and the South East 2%. The top sectors driving growth were production, which increased by nearly 20% - or £55 million.

Of this, manufacturing accounted for an extra £21 million and an increase of 14%.

Information technology grew by 15.5%, adding £55 million to the economy. Public administration, education and health rose by 7.2%, boosting the city by £96 million.

Councillor Geoffrey Bowden, chairman of the economic development and culture committee, said: “This is very encouraging. National studies have identified Brighton and Hove as having potential to lead the way out of recession because of its strengths in the high-tech industries of the future.

"The council and neighbouring authorities are busy trying to encourage that through initiatives like the City Deal.

“The signs are that we’re as attractive to businesses as we are to tourists.”

He added: “But we must remember that these growth figures do not tell us how increased wealth is distributed.

“Making sure that the economy is as inclusive as possible, offering opportunities to all, continues to be our goal.”

Tony Mernagh, executive director of the Brighton and Hove Economic Partnership, said: “It doesn`t surprise me in the least that Brighton has performed so well.

“Our productivity has been increasing at a phenomenal rate since the 1990s, albeit from a low start.

“We have the key ingredient to economic success – a fantastically creative and well qualified workforce thanks to our two universities, the fourth best qualified in the UK.”