UK growth figures revised UP in U-turn from OECD

THE Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has raised its growth forecast for the British economy in a U-turn just weeks after comparing the effects of Brexit to the Blitz.

Original reactions from the OECD towards Brexit were to lower UK growth forecasts for this year from 1.6 per cent to 1.5 per cent stating that leaving the EU was a “major risk”. 

But today the global trade body raised its growth forecast for the UK for 2018 from 1 per cent to 1.2 per cent. 

Angel Gurria, OECD secretary-general said: “Growth has picked up momentum and the short-term outlook is positive, but there are still clear weaknesses and vulnerabilities.”

Just six weeks ago, the Paris-based group said the spirit displayed during the Blitz would be needed for the UK to survive its decision to leave the EU. 

Angel Gurria, OECD secretary-general said: “What was it Churchill said? Stay calm and carry on. This is as valid now as it was then in the Blitz.”

Brexiteer John Longworth, former head of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “Like so many organisations who are institutionally anti-Brexit…the OECD has talked down our economy again and again only to eat its words later.”

The OECD predicts the UK economy will slow down over the coming years with growth slowing down from 1.8 per cent last year, 1.5 per cent this year, 1.2 per cent next year and 1.1 per cent in 2019. 

The OECD said: “The major risk for the economy is the uncertainty surrounding the exit process from the EU, which could hold back private spending more than projected.

“However, projects of maintaining the closest possible economic relationship with the EU would lead to stronger-than-expected growth.”

This news comes as the OECD has released its latest Economic Outlook published on November 28. The report states that European countries who are members of the OECD such as Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia are showing an increase in growth driven by consumption.

November 29th, 2017: Express