IMF predicts UK growth will lag behind global average

23 Jan 18

The growth of the UK economy in the next two years is expected to trail behind the global average, according to economic forecasters from the International Monetary Fund.

The UK economy is projected to see a 1.5% growth in 2018 and 2019, compared to 1.9% in 2016 and 1.7% in 2017. For 2019, this is a 0.1 percentage point downgrade for the country.

IMF figures suggested the global economy would grow by 3.9% this year and next, an upgrade of 0.2 percentage points in each case.

Vince Cable, leader of the Liberal Democrats, said: “It is clear that Britain is under-performing relative to much of Europe, the USA and the rest of the world.

“It is especially unfortunate that the UK is entering an extended period of economic stagnation just as the rest of the world experiences a growth burst.”

He added that although Brexit may not have caused a “catastrophic collapse yet”, it had resulted in lower investments and consumer confidence.

The IMF’s World Economic Outlook also anticipated the global economic growth would be boosted in the short term as a result of US tax cuts.

Although, it suggested the global growth would most likely start to slow after 2022 as spending incentives caused by the US tax cuts will wear off.

The HM Treasury said: “We are building a Britain that is fit for the future by improving skills, backing innovation and investing in infrastructure to deliver a stronger economy and guarantee a better future for the next generation.”

The US was now projected to expand by 2.7% in 2018, up from the 2.3% forecast in October.

The growth estimates for euro area economies have also been higher than expected, especially for Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, “reflecting the stronger momentum in domestic demand and higher external demand” from investors.

Spain was marked down slightly for 2018 as a result of the increased political uncertainty on confidence and demand, the IMF said.

Japan was also revised up for 2018 and 2019 amid the supplementary budget for 2018 and a stronger-than-expected recent activity.

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