Ernst & Young’s Item Club has raised its forecast for UK economic growth next year, despite describing immediate prospects as “dismal”. It said that gross domestic product would rise 2.7% next year, up from an estimate in January for 2.5%. However, the researchers, who use the same model as the UK Treasury said the economy “will struggle” to expand 1% this year. Peter Spencer, chief economic adviser to the Item Club, said: “The immediate prospects for the economy remain dismal. “Exports provide an opportunity to steer our way out of this situation, but ultimately business must put its shoulder to the wheel.”