Britain's CBI bumps up economic growth forecast for 2017


LONDON, June 20 (Reuters) - The Confederation of British
Industry on Tuesday bumped up its forecast for economic growth
in Britain, reflecting strong momentum towards the end of last
year rather than any fundamental change to its view.
    Britain's economy looks on course to grow 1.6 percent this
year and 1.4 percent in 2018, compared with forecasts made in
November for 1.3 percent and 1.1 percent, the CBI said.
    The CBI's forecasts predate the June 8 national election in
which Prime Minister Theresa May lost her majority in
parliament, throwing Britain into one of its worst political
crises in decades.
    "Even accounting for weaker growth at the start of 2017, the
momentum from last year gives us more of a lift as we move
ahead," said Rain Newton-Smith, CBI chief economist.
    Like the Bank of England, the CBI's forecasts rely on a
"smooth" transition as Britain leaves the European Union.
    It expects quarter-on-quarter growth rates of around 0.3 to
0.4 percent through to the end of 2018, roughly half the average
seen since 2013.
    "Very little has changed in our view of the nature of the
outlook. Growth will be slower in the years ahead as living
standards are hit by rising inflation; and after some initial
strength, uncertainty will weigh on business investment,"
Newton-Smith said.

 (Reporting by Andy Bruce; Editing by Toby Chopra)
 ((; +442075423484; Reuters


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