Chancellor George Osborne on Wednesday halved Britain's growth forecast for 2013, citing lower-than-expected exports and fears that the eurozone crisis could further hit the economy, dpa reported.
Presenting his fourth budget, Osborne told parliament the economy would grow by just 0.6 per cent this year, down from the 1.2 per cent predicted in December.
The chancellor has been under pressure to revive growth since Britain lost its AAA credit rating earlier this year and economic growth suffered an unexpected decline in the last quarter of 2012.
The pound has also fallen to nearly three-year lows against the dollar in recent weeks and on Tuesday data showed that inflation rose to 2.8 per cent in February, way above Osborne's 2 per cent target.
Osborne said Britain would avoid a 'triple-dip' recession and pledged to stick to his austerity plan, saying that recovery was 'taking longer than anyone hoped, but we must hold to the right track.'