Mubasher: UK chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond on Tuesday provided better economic forecasts for the coming years.
“The economy continues to grow, continues to create jobs and continues to beat expectations [while] the UK’s public finances have reached a turning point,” Hammond said during his spring statement before parliament.
The statement showed that the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) upgraded gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecasts to 1.5% in 2018 and 1.3% in the coming year, noting that the manufacturing sector has posted the longest expansion streak in 50 years and that the number of employed people has increased by 3 million since 2010.
The OBR also expected a decline in debt-to-GDP ratio to 85.6% this year and 85.5% in 2019.
Meanwhile, Hammond stated that the national living wage would likely rise to GBP 7.83 per hour in April 2018, compared with the previous level of GBP 7.5, whereas full-time workers will get an annual raise of GBP 600.
“National Minimum Wage rates for under 25s and apprentices will also rise,” marking the largest growth in 10 years, the statement indicated.
“Over 2 million people are expected to benefit from April’s increases,” Hammond added.