A national think tank says Sunderland is shaking off the worst effects of the recession, at a time when many other cities are suffering badly.
The findings are part of the Centre for City's annual 'Cities Outlook'.
It argues that Sunderland felt the recession most keenly in 2008-09 and is now on the road to recovery.
The Centre for Cities stresses that Sunderland's improving fortunes are relative; Wearside comes 61st overall for economy performance in the list of 63 UK cities. However, the think tank says Sunderland's improving fortunes contrast with Newcastle and Middlesbrough which are still feeling the full effects of recession.
The Centre for Cities warns there are many challenges ahead. It says a diverse economy and a highly skilled workforce will be crucial for all cities trying to weather the economic downturn.