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Business set to welcome UK government’s near term shift to spending

Monday, October 3, 2016 7:25
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The business community will welcome the UK government’s decision to spend a little more, reckons one senior economist Kallum Pickering.
It comes as new Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered a conference speech in which he said spending on new homes and transport would be a priority – rather than a pledge to balance the budget deficit by 2020.
That had been his predecessor’s George Osborne’s mantra and Pickering, from Berenberg bank, reckons the Tory pledge for austerity will still be in the autumn statement in November, but two to three years later than the previous target.
This represents a shift in policy in the near term, due to the Brexit vote uncertainty, but the longer term goal has not changed, the economist reckons.
He highlights how  the UK economy had actually performed better than expected despite all the mention of Brexit uncertainty and a potential weakening of  demand.
“Theresa May has been pragmatic in her approach to Brexit ,” he said, referring to political uncertainty, in markets, the Bank of England has stepped in, and domestic UK demand has held up after the vote.
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