The chancellor says the economy remains “remarkably resilient” in the face of Brexit uncertainty, despite a sharp cut to growth forecasts.
In his Spring statement to MPs, Philip Hammond said continued fog over the UK’s departure from the EU could be lifted through a “Brexit dividend” if the country was to leave with a deal – building on promises to end austerity.
He admitted a toll on growth, at the same time as a slowdown in the wider world economy, from Brexit cloud in the latest economic expectations issued by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).
The body predicted UK economic growth of 1.2% this year – down from its previous prediction of 1.6%.
But he also announced that the OBR was predicting lower borrowing throughout the forecast period – coming in at a revised total for the current financial year of £29.3bn.
That was down from October’s expectation of £31.8bn.
The OBR also expected to see 600,000 new jobs by 2023, with wage growth at 3% or higher in each year of the forecast period.