IMF raises Britain's growth forecast - a year after 'playing with fire' warning

In April last year the International Monetary Fund's chief economist, Olivier Blanchard, said the Chancellor was "playing with fire"; that his austerity plans were so aggressive they were snuffing out growth.

Almost immediately the British economy sparked into life and the IMF went on to apologise.

Today the IMF has raised its forecasts for Britain's GDP growth rates for the second time this year.

The IMF expects our economy to expand by 3.2% in 2014 - the strongest growth of any advanced economy.

George Osborne said the figures were 'proof that the government's long-term plan economic plan is working'. Credit: PA Wire

The German economy got an upgrade (to 1.9%) as did France (to 0.7%). The brutal winter in the United States lead to a sharp cut to its growth forecast (1.7%).

George Osborne interpreted the figures as "proof that the government's long-term plan economic plan is working".

Britain's growth forecast is the strongest of any advanced economy. Credit: ITV News

The recovery is certainly looking established. Employment is at a record high, inflation is on target and tomorrow will likely come confirmation that the British economy has returned to the size it was before recession.

It's taken six years to get there, in one of the weakest recoveries on record.

It's encouraging that the IMF feels more optimistic about our prospects but remember this is an economic forecast and therefore almost certainly won't come to pass in quite the way predicted.

At this very moment we may be outperforming other advances economies but our fortunes are ultimately tied to those of the countries we trade with - in the Eurozone and around the world.

And parts of the world look extremely unsettled.

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