Phil Clarke, chief executive officer at Tesco, said that he expects the UK economy to improve soon. "Things should pick up some time this year -- when the commodities price (rises) lap themselves, when the VAT (sales tax) rise laps itself, the fuel price rise laps itself and we get through the public sector impact on jobs. The global economy actually is in recovery," Clarke said. "Lots of things can destabilise that. Interest rate rises might be a bit unhelpful. But I am more optimistic than many. There is still investment coming into this country."

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