GDP for Britain has been revised to 1.6 per cent for 2019, chancellor Philip Hammond has announced in his Budget today. Growth predictions dip to 1.4 per cent for 2020 and 2021 while returning to 1.6 per cent by 2023.
The OBR’s forecast in the March Spring Statement was set at 1.3 per cent for 2019 and 2020.
The OBR forecasts that GDP will grow by 0.5 per cent in Q3 2018, 0.4 per cent in Q4 2018, and expects annual GDP growth of 1.3 per cent in 2018.
Borrowing this year is forecast to be £11.6bn lower than the original forecast, to 1.2 per cent of GDP.
Borrowing will fall from £31.8bn to £26.7bn in 2020/21, £23.8bn in 2021/22, £20.8bn 2022/23, £19.8bn in 2023/24, he announced. This year borrowing is forecast to be £11.6bn lower than forecast in the Spring Statement, 1.2 per cent of GDP.
Elsewhere, the country’s debt forecast has also been revised. Hammond announced national debt peaked at 85.2 per cent of GDP and is forecast to fall in every year from 83.7 per cent to 74.1 per cent in 2023/24 which should result in debt falling three years early.
Hammond says: “We are no longer borrowing at all to pay for current spending.”
He also says wages are growing: “Wages are growing at their fastest pace in almost a decade.”
Among many jibes at the opposition Hammond says: “Our economy continues to confound those who talk it down. [Labour is] talking Britain down at every opportunity.”
In response to critics of austerity who say it is an ideological policy the chancellor says: “The tough decisions over the last eight years were not driven by ideology… they were driven by necessity.”