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Budget 2015: UK economy 'biggest in Europe' target

Date: 18 March 2015   |   Author: Rupert Saunders

A bullish Chancellor of the Exchequer flagged up the prospect of the UK economy growing to become the largest in Europe over the next 15 years, as he suggested UK GDP would grow by 2.5% this year and 2.3% in 2016.

The figures, produced by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), were 0.1% higher than those predicted in the autumn statement, just three months ago. But the growth rate then dips slightly below previous forecasts, to 2.3% in 2017 and a further 2.3% in 2017.

The Chancellor claimed the UK economy is growing "faster than any other advanced economy in the world" and 50% faster than Germany; currently the largest economy in Europe. It is growing three times faster than the Eurozone as a whole.

The slight upward revision in UK growth rates comes against a background of fears over both global and European growth. The Chancellor highlighted the potential shock to the Eurozone if there was to be a Greek exit from the common currency.

He increased incentives for UK industry to export to wider global markets such as China and south-east Asia.