THE BRITISH economy is continuing to pick up pace, with new figures forecasting even stronger growth this year and pushing forward expectations for the first interest rate hike since the financial crisis.
In its latest survey of businesses, 35 percentage points more firms reported an increase in output during the past three months than recorded a drop, the highest the CBI has seen since it began the series in 2003. Confidence is also on the rise, with GFK's confidence index now out of negative territory for the first time in nine years.
With no signs of the recovery slowing down, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) also hiked its growth forecast today, predicting the economy will grow by 3.1 per cent this year. In 2015, it expects growth of 2.7 per cent, up from 2.5 per cent previously.
The move means that the business group now thinks the first hike in interest rates from the Bank of
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