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PM defends Britain's economic policies

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PM defends Britain's economic policies

The British prime minister has defended his government's policies on the economy, after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) downgraded its growth forecast.

Estimates from the group earlier this year had suggested gross domestic product in the UK would go up by 0.2 per cent during 2012. However, the IMF has now revised its forecast and said it expects to see decline of 0.4 per cent throughout the year.

David Cameron has responded by insisting a "rebalancing of our economy" is taking place, but stressed this is a "slow process".

Speaking to BBC News, he also noted that some positive progress has been made in the last few years.

"We have created a million net new jobs [and] we are now a net exporter of cars," Mr Cameron commented.

As a result, many businesses could be set to continue transferring money to and from the UK over the next few years.

Britain is officially in its first double-dip recession in more than three decades, but some are hopeful the next set of economic figures will show an increase in gross domestic product between July and September.

Martin Beck of Capital Economics is one who expects to see positive growth in the third quarter of the year, although he told BBC News it is likely to contract again in the following three-month period.

He noted that June had been a particularly bad month for the economy because of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations, which led to the country having an additional bank holiday.

Labour is among those urging the government to change course on the economy, with shadow treasury minister Chris Leslie arguing the IMF's forecasts demonstrates an "alternative plan" is needed.

He added that there can now be no doubt that some form of stimulus and positive action is required straight away.

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