BOE raises expectations in Britain

May 15, 2013 at 3:52 PM
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LONDON, May 15 (UPI) -- Bank of England Gov. Mervyn King said Wednesday that prospects had improved for economic growth and tamer inflation in the second quarter for Britain.

"There is a welcome change in the economic outlook. Projections are for growth to be a little stronger and inflation a little weaker than we expected three months ago," King said at a news conference in London, most likely his last as the head of the country's central bank.

King is retiring in July.

Britain's gross domestic product grew 0.3 percent January through March. The Bank of England predicts the economy will build on that and grow 0.5 percent April through June, The New York Times reported.

The projections are based on an increase in home prices in Britain, which adds to household wealth and allows for increased borrowing and spending. In April, home prices rose to the highest level in nearly three years, the mortgage lender Halifax reported.

"What's encouraging ... is that economic conditions seem to be improving and that full-time jobs are still being created," said Neil Carberry, director for employment and skills at the Confederation of British Industry.

Others thought King's assessment was too rosy. British Chamber of Commerce Chief Economist David Kern said he expected a recovery "somewhat slower than the governor indicted."

"The grim eurozone data shows that our exporters will face obstacles over the year ahead," Kern said.

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