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In Chancellor Philip Hammond's first Spring Statement, replacing the usual Budget which will now be held in the autumn, it was confirmed GDP growth for 2017 was 1.7% on the back of stronger-than-expected productivity growth, beating the 1.5% forecast in the Autumn budget.

The world's sixth-biggest economy would grow a bit more slowly than previously thought in the following two years, by 1.4 and 1.5 per cent respectively in 2021 and 2022.

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.

The debt forecast is 1% lower than in November.

Britain's economy will grow slightly more than expected this year, finance minister Philip Hammond said Tuesday, but is expected to slow thereafter ahead of the country's European Union divorce.

The OBR said Brexit appears to have slowed the economy but by less than it had feared - thanks in part to the willingness of consumers to maintain spending by reducing their saving.

Hammond, delivering a half-yearly budget update, said he remained focused on reversing a sharp rise in public debt since the global financial crisis, and he turned his fire on the opposition Labour Party's plans for higher spending and borrowing.

In this respect then, when coupled with warnings of the dire economic calamities of a Corbyn government, it is hard to escape the conclusion that the Spring Statement was an extended party political broadcast and not much else. As a result, private debt now amounts to 170% of GDP, providing a far bigger drag on the economy than the much anxious about public debt, which stands at 85%."Despite Philip Hammond's cheerier outlook, there is no "light at the end of the tunnel" for families across the country".

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Hammond said he was on course to meet a target of bringing the debt-to-GDP ratio down each year, saying the OBR saw it falling to just under 78 percent of GDP by the 2022/23 fiscal year from an expected peak of 85.6 percent now.

Chancellor Philip Hammond predicted a bright future for the United Kingdom in his first Spring Statement - but why was he in such an upbeat and jovial mood?

Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative government has made "solid progress towards building an economy that works for everyone", the chancellor continued.

"These forecasts put the United Kingdom in a better position to face the moment of truth on Brexit". While public borrowing may be down, households across the country are falling deeper into the red. The decision phase of the Brexit talks will shortly be upon us.

However, he added: "We should not get carried away".

The OBR also estimates that Brexit will free up around £3bn a year to spend on other things by 2020-21, rising to £5.8bn in 2022-23 after taking account of "financial settlement transfers".

Not really, according to Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies. Just four months on from a notably gloomy Autumn Statement the Chancellor has been able to unveil higher growth forecasts and declare victory on key measures of deficit reduction.


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