IMF: UK faces faster growth

BRITAIN’S recovery is on track and it will continue to grow both this year and next, according to influential international body the IMF.

In its annual forecast for the UK, it said that GDP would grow 1.7 per cent this year and two per cent next year, accelerating thereafter, with little expectation of recession.

The forecasts are in line with the IMF’s previous estimates issued in October.

The IMF also sounded a note of caution over the government’s £81bn in spending cuts announced last month. While welcoming the cuts, the IMF said the government had to be prepared if necessary to rethink its strategy which it said was risky and could “strain public service delivery in some areas”.

“In the unexpected case of a significant and prolonged new downturn, some directors considered that the pace of structural fiscal consolidation could be adapted,” the report said.

Meanwhile, think-tank the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) yesterday reported slowing UK economic growth over the past quarter. Economic growth in Britain is likely to have slowed to 0.5 per cent in the three months to October from 0.8 per cent in the three months to September, it said.