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[LONDON] Britain slightly lowered its official growth forecast for 2015 on Wednesday as finance minister George Osborne gave his annual budget statement.
Growth for 2015 was forecast to be 2.4 per cent, down from a forecast of 2.5 per cent made in March, Osborne told parliament. "That is faster than America, faster than Germany and twice as fast as France," he said.
Growth in 2016 was expected to be 2.3 per cent, unchanged from the March forecast made by Britain's Office for Budget Responsibility.
For the rest of the decade, growth would be 2.4 per cent a year, Osborne said.
The Bank of England has previously predicted Britain's economy will grow by 2.5 per cent this year and by 2.6 per cent in 2016.