ECONOMIC growth in Scotland is expected to keep up with prosperous London and the south-east region in 2014, it has been claimed.

The optimistic forecast comes as new Bank of England governor Mark Carney froze interest rates at a record low of 0.5% to the benefit of home­owners amid what he described as one of the slowest recoveries on record.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) said growth north of the Border would rise to 1.7% in 2014 - up from 0.9% this year - with a rise in jobs for young people, strong high street sales and exports performing well.

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Growth in the south of England stands at 1.4%, according to the firm, and is due to rise to 2.3% next year.

Lindsay Gardiner, regional chairman at PwC in Scotland, said: "In recent months, Scotland has continued to demonstrate some positive indicators." Mr Carney said he would continue to freeze interest at 0.5% until unemployment drops to 7%.