U.K. Outlook Gets Small Boost But Remains Stuck in Low Gear

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(Bloomberg) -- U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Philip Hammond struck an optimistic tone in his Spring Statement, but was only able to unveil a minor boost to the nation’s growth outlook.

Growth is likely to climb to 1.5 percent this year, Hammond said in Parliament Tuesday, higher than the 1.4 percent forecast in November. Still, the forecasts for 2019 and 2020 were left unchanged at 1.3 percent, while 2021’s was cut to 1.4 percent.

The predictions, made by Office for Budget Responsibility, would put the U.K. among the slowest among major economies as global growth picks ups, and are also drastically more pessimistic than those from before the Brexit referendum.

Those forecasts, based on the assumption that Britain would stay in the European Union, saw growth of above 2 percent for each year between 2018 and 2021.

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