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United Kingdom - Economy

Whitaker's Almanack Version

Financial Outlook

The UK economy grew by 1.9% in 2013, its strongest rate since 2007, according to the Office for National Statistics. However, economic output remained 1.3% below its first-quarter level in 2008. In December 2013 the independent Office for Budget Responsibility forecast growth of 2.4% for 2014, but if the economy continues to recover at its current pace this forecast may have to be revised. The IMF has increased its growth forecast for the UK economy from 1.9% to 2.4%. Unemployment fell to 7.1% at the end of 2013, close to the level at which the Bank of England has said it would consider raising interest rates from the low of 0.5% that has been in place since the 2008 global financial crisis. By the end of 2013, inflation had fallen to the Bank’s target rate of 2%. Official figures show that the United Kingdom’s £1,386.7 billion debt in the fiscal year 2012/13 amounted to 88.3% of GDP, up from 85% the previous year. In the eight months to December 2013, the budget deficit amounted to £96.1 billion, £4.8 billion lower than in the same period in 2012/13.

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