Christine Lagarde (2)

Recent growth in the UK economy has been described as "very strong" by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), but it warned that rising household debt is a big risk.

A report by the organisation said that underlying vulnerabilities in the country's economy have been addressed and it looks set to continue steady growth.

But speaking to the BBC, head of the IMF Christine Lagarde said that growing household debt, a "strikingly large" trade deficit, uncertainty over its membership of the EU, and the amount of government debt pose the biggest risks to continued, steady growth.

Ms Lagarde said: "Trade would be harder, tariffs would be higher, [and] the financial fluidity within the European Union would not be as good as it is at the moment [if the UK left the EU]."

The IMF's report also predicted that the UK's rate of inflation would return to the Bank of England's official target of 2% gradually over the next few years. Inflation has been floating around zero for much of 2015. And low inflation is known to have a negative impact on the economy, with consumers less likely to make purchases because they expect them to be cheaper in the near future.