The International Monetary Fund has given a boost to George Osborne by raising its growth forecasts for the UK in both 2013 and 2014.
In its half-yearly World Economic Outlook (WEO), the Washington-based fund said national output in Britain would expand by 1.4% this year and by 1.9% in 2014.
Upbeat data since the IMF’s last set of forecasts in July led to estimates of growth being upgraded by 0.5 points in 2013 and by 0.4 points in 2014 – the highest for any developed economy.
The fund embarrassed the chancellor in its last WEO, when it called on the UK to ease up on its austerity plans in order to boost the recovery prospects. It repeated the call for higher public spending in its latest assessment.
“In the UK, recent data have shown welcome signs of an improving economy, consistent with increasing consumer and business confidence, but output remains well below its pre-crisis-peak”, the fund said.
A spokesperson for the Treasury said: “The IMF has confirmed that the UK economy is turning a corner, by revising up its forecast for growth over the next two years by more than for any other G7 economy. But risks to the global economy remain high, and the recovery cannot be taken for granted. That is why the government will not let up in implementing its economic plan, which has already cut the deficit by a third, kept interest rates near record lows and created over a million and a quarter jobs.”
via The Guardian
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