Job creation has been one of the strongest areas of improvement in Belfast and Londonderry over the last year, according to a report today.
The latest Demos-PwC Good Growth for Cities 2019 named Belfast as the fourth largest improver of all UK cities since the financial downturn.
Oxford and Reading were the best performers overall but Derry had enjoyed the biggest improvement of all 11 devolved cities over the last 12 months.
However, slower growth in key areas saw Belfast slide down the UK league table, as business advisory firm PwC said it faced "significant" growth challenges.
David Quinn, PwC NI partner, said the City Deals secured for the Belfast region and the north west had brought the opportunity to secure "a shared and credible economic future".
And he said that life in the city could be transformed if an ambition to move 66,000 people into the Belfast city centre by 2035 was to be realised. But many factors needed to be addressed, including the need for investment in water infrastructure already highlighted by NI Water in its 'no drains, no cranes' campaign.
City council chief executive Suzanne Wylie said: "There are a lot of encouraging indicators that we are on the right track towards achieving the inclusive growth which is at the heart of the Belfast Agenda, and which will be bolstered by the Belfast Region City Deal.