World Bank upgrades UK economic growth forecast

5 Jun 17

The World Bank has upgraded its growth forecast for the UK economy to 1.7% this year. 

Improved global growth – expected to hit 2.7% over the next three years -  is predicted to boost the British economy, said a global prospects report out from the bank today.

The 1.7% growth rate for the UK would be just below last year’s growth of 1.8% but up from the January forecast of 1.2%.

The Euro area is also expected to expand by 1.7% this year, also down from 1.8% in 2016 and both the UK and the Euro economic area are predicted to grow by 1.5% in 2018 and 2019.

Growth in advanced economies is expected to accelerate to 1.9% in 2017, which will also benefit the trading partners of these countries.

The World Bank’s June 2017 Global Economic Prospects states “Global financing conditions remain favourable (sic) and commodity prices have stabilised”.

Franziska Ohnsorge, an economist at the World Bank, said the UK's highly open economy meant it would be sensitive to developments in the global economy over the next few years, while a projected upturn in the eurozone was also expected to lift UK growth, "despite uncertainties related to Brexit discussions".

Although, the World Bank warns that risks remain, including those surrounding Brexit.

The report stated: “Negotiations around the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union carry risks.

“If the uncertainty persists, it could weigh on investor confidence and derail the ongoing recovery in growth.”

See below a table of figures from today's release.

World Bank 5 June table


But the bank remains optomistic about the world economy’s growth prospects.

World Bank chief economist Paul Romer said he was reassured that trade was recovering.

He said: “The concern is that investment remains weak. In response, we are shifting our priorities for lending toward projects that can spur follow-on investment by the private sector.”

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