Economists: UK will barely grow in 2012

Tim Wallace
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THE ECONOMY will register almost no growth in 2012, according to economists who have slashed previously rosy forecasts made just months ago, figures compiled by the Treasury showed yesterday.

Growth forecasts were cut to 0.4 per cent on average for 2012, down from predictions of 0.6 per cent last month and a healthy two per cent back in August.

The weak outlook represents the average forecast of a wide range of leading banks, think tanks, business groups and international bodies.

The lowest estimate comes from Standard Chartered, which predicts a 1.3 per cent fall in GDP while the most optimistic is Beacon Economic Forecasting’s 1.7 per cent expansion.

Public sector net borrowing is forecast to come in at £119.4bn, with predictions ranging from £89bn to £139.8bn. The average estimate has jumped by around £23bn since August as the economy has slowed.

Consumer price inflation is expected to get back on track, with an average forecast of 2.1 per cent for the final quarter of 2012.

The World Bank revised its global growth forecasts from 3.6 per cent in both 2012 and 2013 to 2.5 per cent this year and 3.1 per cent in 2013. Meanwhile Citi last night cut its Eurozone forecast to a 1.5 per cent contraction in 2012, from earlier predictions of a 1.2 per cent fall.