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Economy still reliant on consumer spending


Growth remains reliant on consumers while investment and exports have fallen by the wayside, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).


The economy must be ‘three engines powered’, said Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF. She added that the recovery is ‘predominantly driven by consumption. The UK has to export more, the UK has to invest more’.


Chancellor George Osborne has previously said that by 2020 he wants to see the UK’s exports double to £1 trillion.


A cross-party public accounts committee has said in recent months that the UK is lagging behind other European exporters, for reasons including inadequate Government help for SMEs.


Chair of the committee, Labour MP Margaret Hodge, said: ‘At present UK SMEs do not perform as well in terms of exporting as their French and German counterparts. UK Trade and Investment needs to be a more effective source of intelligence on new opportunities in overseas markets’.