U.K. consumer confidence continued to improve in May, reaching its highest level in more than nine years as Britons became increasingly convinced that the economy is on the mend after a long period of stagnation that followed the sharp contraction in the immediate aftermath of the financial crisis.
Adding to indications that the economy’s strong recovery since early last year is set to continue, the British Chambers of Commerce raised its growth forecast for this year to 3.1% from 2.8%, and its forecast for 2015 to 2.7% from 2.5%. In a separate release, the Confederation of British Industry said its measure of economic growth, which is based on surveys of businesses in May, reached its highest level since the series began in 2003.
With the economy continuing to grow strongly, some policy makers at the Bank of England have already begun to think about when a rise in the benchmark interest rate will be needed to keep inflation under control.
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