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Mar 13, 9:03 AM EDT

UK Treasury chief claims 'light at the end of the tunnel'

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LONDON (AP) -- Britain's Treasury chief Philip Hammond is claiming "light at the end of the tunnel" for the British economy as the country's debt levels start to come down a decade on from the global financial crisis.

In an address to lawmakers Tuesday, Hammond said the British economy is poised to grow by 1.5 percent this year instead of the previous 1.4 percent forecast. The forecast is provided by the independent Office for Budget Responsibility.

In spite of the upgrade, the British economy is set to be one of the slowest-growing Group of Seven nations in 2018, as it was last year.

Hammond said the public finances are at a "turning point," and that debt as a proportion of the country's economy is to peak this year.

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