Chancellor Philip Hammond has delivered his Spring Statement 2018, and on his promise to move away from two major fiscal announcements every year.
Not that it comes as a surprise seeing that Hammond moved this to a Tuesday, rather than keeping it in its usual slot straight after prime minister’s questions on a Wednesday. Far from being a second financial statement of the tax year, the chancellor unveiled the latest economic forecasts alongside a raft of consultations.
The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) revised its forecast for growth up to 1.5% – a rise of 0.1% on the previous forecast announced in Autumn Budget 2017.
However, GDP is expected to fall back to 1.3% in 2019 and 2020 as the OBR left its November 2017 forecast unchanged.
Borrowing fell to £45.2 billion in 2017/18 – £4.7 billion lower than the OBR’s forecast in November 2017, while Hammond confirmed any further borrowing is expected to fund capital investment only.
Debt is also expected to start falling as a share of GDP in 2018/19, according to the OBR.
Aside from updated economic forecasts, the rest of the chancellor’s attention focused on policy consultations – some new, others previously announced. These consultations may feed into Autumn Budget 2018.
Read our full report on the Spring Statement 2018.
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