LONDON, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- British economic growth is expected to surpass pre-recession peak in the second half of 2014 driven by strengthening household consumption, said the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) on Thursday.
The BCC upgraded Britain's GDP growth forecasts from 1.3 percent to 1.4 percent in 2013 and from 2.2 percent to 2.7 percent in 2014. But it marginally downgraded its 2015 forecast from 2.5 percent to 2.4 percent.
In the first quarter of 2008, the British economic growth was reportedly hit an annualized rate of 2.5 percent.
"We expect GDP growth to remain strong in the short-term, as the housing market continues to boost household consumption," said John Longworth, BCC Director General. "But while it was necessary to rely on the consumer and on housing in the early part of the recovery, it must now become more balanced, particularly towards exports, as household consumption will slow."
Longworth said that the BCC believed that "an environment that fosters enterprise and wealth creation is essential so that UK firms can continue to trade the world, invest at home, and create jobs."
According to the BCC's forecast, Britain will reach its threshold of 7 percent unemployment rate in the third quarter of 2015.
It predicted that the number of British jobless people will fall from 2.466 million, with the unemployment rate at 7.6 percent, in the third quarter of this year, to 2.400 million, at a rate of 7.3 percent, in the third quarter of 2014, and to 2.304 million, at 7.0 percent, in the third quarter of 2015.
The predicted fall in unemployment is due to improved short-term growth prospects and increased labour market flexibility, said the BBC. But the BCC warned a risk of further public sector job losses, which would limit the size of any decline.
In its Economic Forecast report, the BCC also forecasted that Bank of England (BOE) will raise official interest rates to 0.75 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015 from the current record low 0.5 percent, following the 7 percent unemployment rate threshold being reached in the previous quarter.
A further increase to 1.0 percent is predicted by the BCC in the first quarter of 2016, but the Quantitative Easing programme will stay unchanged until at least the first quarter of 2016.
British economic growth firming: OECD report
LONDON, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) composite leading indicator (CLI) for Britain continued to rise in October, signifying a firming growth of the economy.
The CLI for Britain for October climbed to 101.4 from 101.2 in September, continuing the rising trend from June at 100.5. Full story