United Kingdom growth to be slowest in G20 this year, says OECD

OECD upgrades global and Japan growth outlooks for 2018 and 2019

OECD forecasts better growth ahead

Eurozone growth was also predicted to slow, dropping from 2.5 percent in 2017 to 2.3 percent in 2018 and 2.1 percent in 2019, the OECD said.

Contributing to the positive outlook were tax reductions and increased spending in the world's largest economy, the United States, and fiscal stimulus in Europe's economic powerhouse Germany, according to the OECD.

As the Chancellor prepared to update MPs on the independent Office for Budget Responsibility's latest expectations for growth and borrowing, the OECD predicted the United Kingdom would see the slowest growth among the G20 economies this year, having largely outperformed rivals since the financial crisis.

With mounting fears of a trade war following Mr Trump's threat of tariffs on steel and aluminium, the OECD issued a plea to avoid protectionism.

The OECD's latest economic outlook showed all but one G20 nation - Russian Federation - was set to grow at a faster pace this year than predicted last November.

The currency bloc is forecast to grow 2.3 percent in 2018 and 2.1 percent in 2019.

"Safeguarding the rules-based worldwide trading system will help to support growth and jobs", it said.

Globally, the OECD expects a modest increase in inflation amid tightening labor markets, which will reduce dependence on accommodative monetary policy.

Spring Statement: Hammond's complacency is astounding, says shadow chancellor
The door to 11 Downing Street, the official residence of Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer, is seen in London, March 13, 2018. He also used his speech to attack the plans of the opposition Labour Party to spend and borrow more.

He said: "Investment is coming back, and so this is very good news for good new for jobs and growth across the economies".

Growth is steady or improving in most G20 countries and the expansion is continuing.

Britain, however, was seen missing out on the global upturn, lagging all other G20 countries with growth of only 1.3 per cent this year, although up from a November forecast of 1.2 per cent due to the broader global improvement.

"Governments should avoid escalation and rely on global solutions to resolve excess capacity in the global steel industry".

Economists put Britain's growth at an annual pace of 1.5% over the next two years.

"Structural reforms should be revived, seizing the opportunity of the stronger economy to help secure a more robust recovery of productivity, investment and living standards", the report said.

And while eurozone growth is expected to ease off from 2.5% a year ago to 2.3% in 2018 and 2.1% in 2019, major continental economies like Germany and France are forecast to out-perform the UK.

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