Election 2015

Reality Check: Is UK the fastest-growing economy?

In their letter to the Daily Telegraph, a group of business leaders pledging support for a Conservative government say: "Britain grew faster than any other major economy last year".

Is that true?

It depends on what you consider to be a major economy. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) reckoned in January that the UK grew by 2.6% in 2014.

That is indeed faster than other countries in the G7 advanced economies, including the USA (2.4%), Canada (2.4%), Japan (0.1%), France (0.4%), Germany (1.5%) and Italy (which shrank by 0.4%).

However, the IMF said China was likely to have grown by 7.4% in 2014 and India by 5.8%. This is broadly in line with several other forecasting bodies. Many economists would consider those two countries to be "major economies".

It's worth noting that these figures are forecasts because we don't yet have final IMF statistics for the whole of 2014. There are also national figures which might differ. The UK's Office for National Statistics said yesterday that the UK grew by 2.8% last year.

But the UK's lead in the G7 may be short-lived - the IMF predicts that the USA will grow faster than the UK in 2015.

Election 2015 - Reality Check

What's the truth behind the politicians' claims on the campaign trail? Our experts investigate the facts, and wider stories, behind the soundbites.

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