The UK is set to experience economic growth around half as strong as was previously expected in 2013.
That is according to chancellor George Osborne, who revealed in his long-awaited Budget speech yesterday (20 March) that Britain's official forecast for annual gross domestic product (GDP) expansion has been downgraded to 0.6 per cent.
Last December, the government was anticipating growth to register at 1.2 per cent this year, but Mr Osborne told the House of Commons that the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) had decided to cut this figure due to issues such as weak exports and the ongoing eurozone debt crisis.
Furthermore, the OBR has also reduced its forecast for 2014 to 1.8 per cent from two per cent, but insisted the UK is likely to avoid slipping back into recession in the first quarter of this year.
Mr Osborne admitted the economic recovery is "taking longer than anyone hoped" as the global financial system is still faced with a "major crisis".
By Asim Shah