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Expectations for growth in 2022, at 3.5% are now less than half the 7.5% growth recorded last year. Quarter on quarter GDP is expected to flatline with no growth expected in Q2 and Q3 before contracting by 0.2% in Q4.

This negative outlook reflects a combination of soaring inflation, weak business investment, tax rises and the global economic shocks – initially caused by Covid and then compounded by the war in Ukraine. Annual UK economic growth is expected to slow sharply to 0.6% for 2023 before recovering slightly to 1.2% in 2024.

Consumer spending is now forecast to grow at 4% in 2022, a fall from the 4.4% prediction in the first quarter. This reflects the historically high squeeze on real household incomes as inflation far outpaces the forecast 5% growth in average earnings for the year.

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