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When Philip Hammond spoke of the Brexit rollercoaster at Conservative Conference in October, he probably didn’t anticipate that the economic outlook would be so benign for his Spring Budget. Growth is higher than expected, employment is robust, borrowing is lower. Project Fear it ain’t.

While this gives Hammond a bit of space, he has been careful not to allow the positive message to slide into hubris. For a start, he is all too aware that OBR forecasts are highly sensitive to growth projections and growth forecasts are notoriously fickle. If UK consumers stop borrowing to fund consumption as they have been, or the housing market stutters, then the fiscal situation could deteriorate quite quickly leaving him in a difficult spot in the autumn.

Brexit looms over all, but was barely mentioned either in the statement or the Red Book. That’s because this was a Budget that focussed primarily on domestic challenges. The most important of these is addressing the funding crisis in social care…

Click here to read Cicero’s analysis

Separately, click the player below to watch Cicero Executive Chairman Iain Anderson gave his view on the Spring Budget 2017.

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