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UK economic growth 'to halve this year'

The rate of growth for the UK economy during 2008 will be half that seen last year, an economics consultancy has predicted. A report from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) forecasts that the UK economy will expand by 1.5 per cent this year - less than half the rate of growth of 3.1 per cent seen in 2007. In a previous report CEBR had predicted growth of 1.8 per cent, but said it had downgraded its forecast as a result of the slowing housing market and turbulence in the financial markets. Richard Snook, one of the report's authors, and economist at CEBR, said: "We expect the economy to take a large knock from the financial market turbulence, with the housing market slowdown, tight household finances and weakening government spend all assisting in producing a poor performance."Earlier this month, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) also downwardly adjusted its growth projections for 2008. The CBI now expects the economy to expand by 1.8 per cent – down from its previous prediction of two per cent.

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