What an upbeat outlook!

With UK growth at 1.7% in 2017, rather than the predicted 1.5%, estimates are now set at 1.5% in 2018, 1.3 % in 2019, 1.3% in 2020, 1.4% in 2021 and 1.5% in 2022. So, in 2018, the UK will experience the slowest growth of all G7 economies, with the exceptions of Italy and Japan. In the Eurozone, the UK will be just ahead of Greece, Italy and, perhaps, Belgium…

Among the potential good news, we heard about:

  • Stronger tax receipts, which will reduce the UK borrowing to £45.2Bn in 2018 and below the 2% target of national income.
  • Spending is to be treated with a “a balanced approach” but part of the surplus will be committed to public services.
  • A review of the VAT system for small businesses but unfortunately, as it is merely a consultation at this stage, it is unlikely to have an impact in 2018
  • The business rate revaluation has been brought forward to 2021 to reflect the current property market

At the same time, Hammond also touched on topics including housing construction, curbing plastic waste and a new digital strategy.

In conclusion, a very political spring statement with little in the way of new announcements and still no understanding or accurate assessment regarding the potential impact of Brexit.

Does anybody remember that the 2018 growth prediction, before Brexit, was 2.1%….

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