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Chancellor cuts growth predictions

Chancellor Gordon Brown has slashed his prediction for the growth of the UK economy from 3 to 3.5 per cent in March 2005 to 1.75 per cent next year in his pre-budget statement this afternoon.

The Chancellor blamed global pressures including high oil prices and an increase in commodity prices as well as a domestic slowdown in the housing market and inflationary pressures.

Mr.Brown said: “The last year has seen a vitrual doubling of global oil and commodity prices. Whilst all countries have faced global inflationary pressures we have also had to contend with domestsic inflationary pressures.”

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