UK Firms Expect Economy to Speed Up

03 May 2006

   LONDON - UK economic growth will accelerate in the second half of 2006, according to a survey of business confidence.
   Accountants BDO Stoy Hayward' s latest Business Trends Report says growth will rise to 3.4% in both the third and four quarters of 2006, compared with 2.4% last year. It also shows companies expect inflation to come in at 2.2% in the second half of 2006, above the Treasury's 2% target.
    The survey adds that the main factors contributing to higher business confidence are a rebound in consumer spending, an economic recovery in continental Europe and a rapidly rising stock market.