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UK economic growth to trough in 2017, NIESR says

A rise in productivity growth should help the British economy pick up speed in 2018 after a trough in 2017, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research said.

GDP growth should rise to 1.9% in 2018 from 1.7% in 2017 and 1.8% last year, the think tank said.

"The economy has slowed each year since 2014 and, according to our forecast, 2017 will mark the trough for GDP growth. Thereafter, we envisage a modest recovery that takes economic growth to a level that is close to potential," the NIESR said.

However, it warned that projections were based "on a return to meaningful productivity growth from 2018 onwards."

Consumer price inflation is expected to rise to 3% in the final quarter of this year from 2.7% in the second quarter and will ease back to the central bank's target rate of 2% in the final quarter of 2019. The Bank of England is likely to raise interest rates for the first time in 11 years in the first quarter of 2018, the NIESR said, revising its earlier forecast that this would take place in the second quarter of 2019.

"This rate increase should not be seen as a tightening in policy, but instead as a modest withdrawal of some of the additional stimulus that was injected into the economy after the 2016 EU referendum," the NIESR said.