Chancellor Philip Hammond said he’d take a
“balanced approach” to his second Budget of 2017.
Once again the speech was light on headline-grabbing finance changes and there were no ‘giveaways’ or
major surprises.
Instead, the chancellor focussed on measures to
prepare the economy for post-Brexit life. 

Raising productivity is key to boosting economic
growth and wages, but growth has “remained
stubbornly lat” and continues to be an issue.
In light of this, the Ofice for Budget Responsibility
revised down its forecasts for growth. 

It expects GDP to grow by 1.5% in 2017 (down from
2% predicted at the Spring Budget in March) and
1.4% in 2018 (down from 1.6%).
To help address the problem, the National
Productivity Investment Fund, which supports
innovation and infrastructure, will be extended by a
year and expanded to more than £31bn.