IMF downgrades UK’s growth forecasts as other EU countries exceed expectations

File photo of new 12-sided �1 coins. Picture: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

File photo of new 12-sided �1 coins. Picture: Victoria Jones/PA Wire - Credit: PA

A weaker-than-expected economic performance in the UK has led the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to downgrade its growth forecast.

The economy is now expected to grow by 1.7%, down from April's prediction of 2%, according to the organisation's latest Wold Economic Outlook.

It comes as other major European countries like Germany, France and Spain have exceeded growth expectations.

'The growth forecast has also been revised down for the United Kingdom for 2017 on weaker-than-expected activity in the first quarter,' the IMF said.

'By contrast, growth projections for 2017 have been revised up for many euro area countries, including France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, where growth for the first quarter of 2017 was generally above expectations.'

The IMF added that UK growth forecasts for next year remain unchanged at 1.5%.

A Treasury spokesman said: 'This forecast underscores exactly why our plans to increase productivity and ensure we get the very best deal with the EU are vitally important.

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'Employment is at a record high and the deficit is down by three quarters, showing that the fundamentals of our economy are strong.'