IMF expects UK economy to avoid recession

IMF expects UK economy to avoid recession

The UK economy is expected to avoid a recession this year, the International Monetary Fund has said, after it sharply upgraded its growth forecast. It now expects the UK to grow by 0.4% in 2023, whereas last month it forecast the economy would contract by 0.3%.

Growth would be helped by “resilient demand” and falling energy prices.

But the IMF said inflation “remains stubbornly high” and that higher interest rates will need to remain in place if it is to be brought down.

Speaking in London, the IMF’s managing director Kristalina Georgieva said the upgraded growth figure had been sparked by falling energy prices, easing concerns over Brexit and improved financial stability.

She added that the government had taken “decisive and responsible steps in recent months”.

But Ms Georgieva also said now was not the time to look at cutting taxes, warning that at the moment “neither is it affordable, nor is it desirable”.

The IMF report noted that the risks for the UK economy were “considerable”, with the biggest danger coming from “greater-than-anticipated persistence in price- and wage-setting”, which would keep inflation higher for longer.

It also said the UK must address the record numbers of people not working, many of whom have long-term illnesses.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said the report “credits our action to restore stability and tame inflation”.  If we stick to the plan, the IMF confirm our long-term growth prospects are stronger than in Germany, France and Italy.”

Source: BBC Business