World Economy

IMF Praises UK Economic Recovery

IMF Praises UK Economic RecoveryIMF Praises UK Economic Recovery

Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has praised the recovery of the British economy.

Speaking during a round-table meeting about the global economy at the IMF in Washington, Lagarde said Britain’s recovery was providing “eloquent and convincing” leadership for the rest of the European Union (EU), shareCast reported Friday.

“A few countries, only a few, are driving growth: America and the UK. From a global perspective we see growth that’s too low, too fragile.”

Her remarks provided a timely boost for David Cameron, particularly as in 2013 the IMF strongly criticized the government’s proposed deficit reduction plan, as George Osborne was accused of “playing with fire” by IMF’s chief economist Olivier Blanchard.

Lagarde added that she expected 2015 to be a good year for the US and endorsed Britain’s progress, citing falling unemployment and growth as the main positives.

“And the UK, where clearly growth is improving, the deficit has been reduced, and where the unemployment is going down,” said Lagarde.

“Certainly from a global perspective this is exactly the sort of result that we would like to see [...] More growth, less unemployment, a growth that is more inclusive, that is better shared, and a growth that is also sustainable and more balanced.”

David Cameron welcomed the comments, saying they would present Britain with the opportunity of setting an agenda on trade deals and reforms.

However, Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor said that economic growth was yet to translate into a growth in living standards.

“What our report says is across all these countries across the last 15 years you have a common pattern, which is where I disagree with Christine Lagarde’s comments, which is you can have growth but living standards have been flat for most people, been stagnating,” Balls said.