United Kingdom economic growth forecasts revised up in Spring Statement
Mar 13 2018 by Johnny Bowman
At the Autumn Statement the OBR predicted public sector net borrowing of £49.9bn for the 2017-18 fiscal year, significantly lower than the £58.3bn borrowing for the year to April expected only a year ago.
The Chancellor talked up "substantial progress" on the Brexit talks so far and said he looks forward to "another important step forward next week at the European Council", when negotiating teams meet.
Promised to be a short update on forecasts, Philip Hammond's Spring Statement turned out to be 26 short minutes of politics: uplifting vision for the backbenchers and the television news, coupled with witty digs at the Opposition.
The predictions, made by Office for Budget Responsibility, would put the United Kingdom among the slowest among major economies as global growth picks ups, and are also drastically more pessimistic than those from before the Brexit referendum.
Growth forecasts in 2019 and 2020 were kept unchanged at 1.3 percent and were cut for the following two years, according to the independent Office for Budget Responsibility, which judged a recent pick-up in productivity to be temporary. Growth in 2017 was 1.7%, compared with the 1.5% forecast by the OBR past year.
In 2021, GDP is forecast to rise to 1.4%, down from the 1.5% expected in the November budget.
His deputy Liz Truss said there would be no red box, no rabbits out of the hat and no tax changes.
In order to facilitate a shift away from plastics, Hammond will also announce a support fund of £20 million for businesses and universities investing in research around alternatives to single-use plastics.