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United Kingdom growth to be slowest in G20 this year, says OECD

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United Kingdom growth to be slowest in G20 this year, says OECD

And while eurozone growth is expected to ease off from 2.5% a year ago to 2.3% in 2018 and 2.1% in 2019, major continental economies like Germany and France are forecast to out-perform the UK.

However, it warned that the recovery risked being undermined by an escalation in trade barriers that would hurt growth and jobs.

In its latest snapshot on global performance the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) raised its growth forecast for both 2018 and 2019 to 3.9% - the highest since 2011 - from a previous estimate of 3.6%.

U.S. President Donald Trump last week formally signed proclamations to impose a 25-percent tariff on imported steel and a 10-percent tariff on aluminum, causing mounting dissent among business groups and trading partners around the world.

Upgrading its forecasts, the Paris-based group in part cited US tax cuts for the better numbers.

Álvaro Pereira, the OECD's acting chief economist, urged the United Kingdom to introduce more policies to boost living standards, as well as address regional disparities.

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The UK will be the slowest-growing economy in the G20 barring South Africa if the OECD's predictions come through, with growth well behind the 2.2 per cent average expected in the Eurozone or the 2.5 per cent annual expansion in the US.

This is up from a forecast last November of 3.7% in 2018 and 3.6% in 2019. The OECD, which groups 35 developed economies, called on the world's major nations to avoid a dispute that could impede trade, demand, competition and, ultimately, the health of the global economy.

By contrast, growth in the global economy is expected to strengthen further from its six-year high of 3.7% in 2017 to reach 3.9% in 2018 and 2019.

The fastest growth this year will be India, with expansion of 7.2 per cent, followed by China at 6.7 per cent, and Turkey and Indonesia both at 5.3 per cent - all revised upwards since November.

"Safeguarding the rules-based worldwide trading system is essential to prevent the longer-term harm to growth prospects that could arise from a retreat from open markets", it said.

"Countries should rely on collective solutions like the Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity to address specific issues".

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