January 10, 2018 / 12:29 PM / 10 days ago

UK economy likely picked up in fourth quarter, rate hike seen in May - NIESR

LONDON (Reuters) - British economic growth likely hit a one-year high in the three months to December, the National Institute for Economic and Social Research (NIESR) said on Wednesday.

The think tank said it forecast quarterly growth of 0.6 percent during the fourth quarter of 2017, compared with 0.4 percent in the previous quarter.

Based on this, NIESR said it predicted annual average economic growth for 2017 at 1.8 percent. Its forecasts followed better-than-expected industrial production data for November published earlier on Wednesday.

“This recovery, combined with above-target CPI inflation, is consistent with a gradual withdrawal of monetary policy stimulus,” Amit Kara, NIESR’s head of UK macroeconomic forecasting, said.

The Bank of England was now on track to raise interest rates again in May, Kara said.

Reporting by Andy Bruce; Editing by William Schomberg

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