News Column

Growth forecast lifted to 2.4%

January 22, 2014

THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) has lifted its growth forecast for the UK this year to 2.4 per cent in a fresh boost for Chancellor George Osborne . Its latest prediction, a sharp upgrade from a previous figure of 1.9 per cent, would see Britain among the fastestgrowing of the world's advanced economies. The World Economic Outlook puts the UK's pace of expansion ahead of European rivals including Germany and France , though behind the US on 2.8 per cent. It forecasts that growth for last year will have come in at 1.7 per cent and that after recording 2.4 per cent this year, it will slow to 2.2 per cent in 2015. The figures are in line with the latest forecasts from Britain's independent Office for Budget for Responsibility (OBR), published at the time of Mr Osborne's Autumn Statement last month. The IMF report said: "A ctivity in the United Kingdom has been buoyed by easier credit conditions and increased confidence." But the report said "economic slack" - spare capacity left in the economy which can be measured by factors such as unemployment - would remain high.

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Source: Northern Echo (England)

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