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The UK is now officially the hottest economy in Europe

British unemployment tumbled sharply in the three months that ended in November.

The UK jobless rate dropped from 7.4% to 7.1%, according to fresh data out from the Office of National Statistics this morning. The unemployment rate remains elevated compared to the period before the financial crisis hit. But it seems to be turning the corner quickly.

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In fact, the IMF just upgraded its growth forecasts for the UK in 2014. The entity upped its expectation for GDP growth to 2.4% in 2014, much better than a 1.6% expected growth rate for Europe’s largest economy, Germany. And in the run-up to national elections in 2015, that would seem to be good news for Britain’s Conservative-led coalition government, which gambled big by instituting an austerity program in the midst of a global economic slump. (Labour is currently ahead in the polls, however.)

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