UK economy to take oil hit in 2013 before North Sea recovery
LONDON (REUTERS) - Britain's faltering economy will take another hit from declining UK North Sea oil production this year before a mini-recovery takes hold in 2014, removing a handbrake on the country's growth in the medium term.
Waning North Sea oil production has damaged attempts by Britain's coalition government to stimulate growth, weighing on the economy in 2012 and bringing the country close to a"triple-dip" recession.
But after three years of gloom, from 2014 onwards, oil production could become a bright spot for the economy, with industry body Oil & Gas UK forecasting a historic pick-up in output, fuelled by a surge in investment.
A rise in production from next year would be the first since 1999, and could aid the British economy's return to growth, helping the Conservative-led government meet budget targets and bolstering the party's chances of winning a 2015 election.