The managing director of the International Monetary Fund has said she wants Britain to stay in the EU, warning that a looming Brexit referendum posed a risk to the UK economy.
In an upbeat assessment, Christine Lagarde said the UK was enjoying strong growth, record employment and had largely recovered from the global financial crisis.
Presenting the IMF’s annual healthcheck of the economy alongside George Osborne, Lagarde said there were risks to the outlook, including from the housing market, but she was generally positive. “The UK authorities have managed to repair the damage of the crisis in a way few other countries have been able to do,” she said.
Lagarde said the IMF would work through various scenarios for the EU referendum outcome in its next assessment of the UK in May 2016. “On a personal basis … I am very, very much hopeful that the UK stays within the EU,” she added.
The chancellor said the IMF’s latest assessment of the UK “could hardly be more positive”. He added that in the past the IMF had been critical of the government’s strategy, such as when it called for higher spending on public investment.
“Over the years I’ve been attending this article IV press conference, it has sometimes been controversial, as people pointed to the differences between our plan and the IMF’s advice,” Osborne said. “Today the IMF could not be clearer. They say that our economy is stronger, more resilient and has more jobs. The IMF believe our approach to fixing the public finances is appropriate and transparent.
via The Guardian