Brussels dismisses Darling’s economic forecast

The European Commission has dismissed the chancellor’s claims that the UK economy will bounce back from the credit crunch in the coming years.

The commission’s spring economic forecasts for 2008 to 2009 predict a UK growth rate of 1.7%, just coming in line with the treasury’s expectations of 1.75% to 2.25%.

But the real blow to Alistair Darling comes with the 2009 forecast, as the report anticipates that GDP will only increase by 1.6%.

This is in stark contrast with Darling’s hopes that by 2009 the economy will have regained ground with 2.25% to 2.75% growth.

The commission is now looking to hold Darling and Prime Minister Gordon Brown to account over what it terms excessive deficit procedures, in another report due to be presented in June.