OECD upgrades global and Japan growth outlooks for 2018 and 2019

OECD forecasts for growth in 2018 and 2019

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

The world economy will expand at its fastest pace since 2011 this year, but the United Kingdom will continue to lag, according to the latest forecasts from the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD).

The OECD also warned of risks linked to the Group of 20 countries having total debt amounting to over 200 per cent of economic output, and stock valuations being at their highest since the early part of the century.

The latest report lifted growth forecasts for the USA and eurozone economies.

The OECD forecast the USA economy would grow 2.9 percent this year and 2.8 percent in 2019, with tax cuts adding 0.5-0.75 percentage points to the outlook in both years.

The OECD's acting chief economist said any trade war resulting from US President Donald Trump's planned import duties on steel and aluminium products, would prove "fairly damaging".

The UK will be the slowest-growing economy in the G20 barring South Africa if the OECD's predictions come through, with growth well behind the 2.2 per cent average expected in the Eurozone or the 2.5 per cent annual expansion in the US.

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"In Japan, where underlying inflation and inflation expectations remain low, current stimulus measures need to be continued to help achieve the inflation target", the OECD said.

On Britain, the OECD struck a particularly cautious note, pencilling in growth of only 1.3 per cent this year.

"The world economy will continue to strengthen over the next two years", the OECD said.

The fastest growth this year will be India, with expansion of 7.2 per cent, followed by China at 6.7 per cent, and Turkey and Indonesia both at 5.3 per cent - all revised upwards since November.

Growth in France is expected to hit an 11-year high of 2.2 per cent this year before easing to 1.9 per cent in 2019. "Governments of steel-producing economies should avoid escalation and rely on global solutions".

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

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