The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has trimmed its forecast of UK GDP from earlier predictions and said the recovery from Covid-19 will take longer than expected.
The IMF now expects GDP growth of 4.5 per cent this year, down from an earlier prediction of 5.9 per cent.
The IMF said the downgrade was down to the second and third waves of the virus, including the new variant.
However, the organisation raised its forecast for economic growth for 2021.
It predicted global growth of 5.5 per cent in 2021, an increase of 0.3 percentage points from the October forecast, citing expectations of a vaccine-powered uptick
Additionally, the Covid-19 to worldwide GDP growth would not be as severe as expected.
It said a vaccination approval and rollout in some countries in December had boosted hopes of an eventual end to the pandemic that has now infected nearly 100m people and claimed the lives of over 2.1m globally.
US economic growth for this year was upgraded by two percentage points to 5.1 per cent, based on increased economic stimulus from new President Joe Biden.
New virus variants and further lockdowns posed risks to an economic rebound.