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G7: Brown Says UK Economy Growing Stronger Than Expected

Saturday February 7, 4:10 pm ET

BOCA RATON, Fla. -(Dow Jones)- U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown Saturday said the British economy will grow more strongly than he had expected in recent months.

"As far as the U.K. is concerned, having been one of the major economies which has avoided recession, we've now seen stronger and more balanced growth," Brown said, declining to say how much faster he expected the British economy to grow this year.

U.K. gross domestic product in the fourth quarter was 0.9% above that of the previous three-month period, the fastest quarterly rate of growth since early 2000. It was 2.5% higher than in the fourth quarter of 2002.

At the time of the pre-budget report in December, Brown said the economy would grow by 3.0% to 3.5% this year and next.

"Growth this year is going to be stronger than it was last year. And I was able to tell the gathering of G7 that instead of a Britain that used to come to meetings as a country that was first in, worse hit and last out of every world downturn, we are a country that has shown that we have put stability first, last and always.

Brown was addressing reporters after meetings with finance ministers from the Group of Seven leading industrial nations. The G7 consists of the U.S., Japan, Germany, France, the U.K., Italy and Canada.

Brown was also upbeat about the outlook for the world economy.

"We were able to say that since our meeting in Dubai, the world recovery has strengthened. The IMF is now suggesting to us that they are seeing 4.5% growth next year. Growth is forecast to rise in all parts of the world," he said.


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