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CBI boss calls for growth strategy


Wednesday February 9th 2011

The Government must provide a clear strategy of growth to accompany the upcoming Budget according to the leader of the UK's top business group, which has downgraded its forecasts for the British economy.

As John Cridland took over the reins of the CBI as the new director general he said he is confident the Government is "redoubling its efforts".

His predecessor, Sir Richard Lambert, said the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition has so far not put forward a vision for the economy.

Mr Cridland wants reassurances that ministers are working on plans to reform personal taxes and stimulate growth.

However, he stressed that he did not expect any material changes in the next Budget on March 23.

His comments came as the CBI revised its forecast for growth in output in 2011 to 1.8% from an "already sluggish" 2%. Economic growth in 2012 was downgraded to 2.3% from 2.4%.

The CBI said conditions will remain subdued for the following two years as household spending remains low and Government austerity measures gather pace.

But the statistical impact of December's severe weather - which sent the economy into a shock 0.5% decline in the final quarter of 2010 - will also have a significant bearing.

Inflation is expected to be slightly higher than its previous forecast throughout 2011, as commodity prices continue to soar, before gradually declining throughout 2012. The CBI still expects an interest-rate hike between April and June this year.

But the group is confident a double-dip recession is unlikely and predicts a rebound to economic growth in the first three months of this year.

Copyright © Press Association 2011

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