By Jonathan Davies

The UK economy is forecast to grow faster than expected in 2014 and 2015, according to business lobby group British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).

The BCC has upgraded its growth forecast to 3.2% for 2014, up from 3.1%. It also expects growth of 2.8% next year, up from 2.7%.

It would be much stronger growth than the 2.7% predicted by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) for 2014. But it is lower than the Bank of England’s forecast of 3.5%, which was upgraded slightly from 3.4% earlier this year.

The BCC said a strong labour market and strong growth expected in the second half of the year are the main reasons behind the upgraded growth forecast.

But it warned that weaker UK exports could harm long-term growth. The UK government wants the country’s exports to be worth £1 trillion by 2020.

BCC director general John Longworth, said: “We must ensure the stellar growth in 2014 is not a flash in the pan.

“We need to invest and export more, innovate, and build.”

“It is disappointing that we have downgraded export growth for the next two years as a strong international trade performance is key if we are to steer away from a reliance on consumer spending,” said Mr Longworth.

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