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Business News

UK growth prospects appear sombre, says World Bank

The World Bank raised the alarm over the UK's "sombre" prospects today as it took an axe to growth forecasts.

The organisation's latest global outlook report pencils in 1.1 per cent growth for the UK this year, well below its 1.6 per cent forecast in June last year and also below the Office for Budget Responsibility's own 1.2 per cent prediction. The consensus of latest forecasts compiled by the Treasury is even more pessimistic, at 0.9 per cent. The report's downbeat comments are likely to heighten fears of a triple-dip recession.

It said: "Prospects for the fourth quarter are sombre. Industrial production declined sharply in Germany and in the UK in October and business-sentiment indicators remain unusually weak. Despite indications of improving sentiment and order books, GDP is expected to decline further in the fourth quarter and into the first few months of 2013."