In 2013 there was a return to positive growth of national output following several quarters of negative growth in 2012. However, growth remains below the long-term average rate and the recovery is still far from established. The international situation looks slightly less worrying than in previous years with growth resuming in the USA but remaining weak in Europe.
Interest rates have remained low as the Bank of England has tried to avoid damaging the prospects of recovery by tightening monetary policy. The fiscal stance however, has continued to be relatively tight, with the government’s austerity programme leading to some cutbacks in expenditure. Despite this, the public finances remain in significant deficit.
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