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Comment: Economic outlook for 2011

Richard Lowe, Head of Retail & Wholesale, Barclays Corporate, gives his view.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Comment: Economic outlook for 2011

"Sufficient momentum in business and consumer demand should ensure that the UK economy keeps growing, with Barclays economists expecting GDP growth of 1.6% in 2010, 2.1% in 2011 and 2.2% in 2012. While this
creates a stable environment for UK businesses, these are still subdued
growth rates by historical standards, and this will continue to impact
negatively on unemployment figures.

"In terms of general demand, a strengthening in household consumption, net trade and investment should offset some of the fall in public sector
demand. Business investment certainly has the potential to grow in 2011, as non-financial firms in the UK have been running substantial cash surpluses in recent quarters.

"Globally our economics team expects growth to slow moderately, to about 4.25% in 2011 from 4.9% in 2010, with the slowdown mainly the result of softening emerging world growth, particularly Asia and Latin America.
Indeed, emerging market countries are set to move towards more
sustainable growth after the strong rebound following the crisis."

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