Britain has raised its forecasts for economic growth this year but in his first budget UK Chancellor Philip Hammond says we 'cannot rest on our past achievements'. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT. NO REPORTER NARRATION. Britain has raised its forecasts for economic growth this year but is more downbeat about the following three years, finance minister Philip Hammond said in the first full budget since the referendum decision to leave the European Union. Delivering his budget statement just weeks before Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to kick off the process of leaving the EU, Hammond said Britain's economy had "continued to confound the commentators" with its growth in 2016. Britain's economy is now expected to grow by 2.0 percent in 2017, up sharply from a forecast of 1.4 percent made in the latest round of official forecasts in November, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR). Hammond has previously said that rather than use the better outlook to spend more, he will focus on eliminating what remains one of the biggest budget deficits among the world's rich nations, something he is aiming to do in the first half of the next decade. Hammond, nicknamed 'Spreadsheet Phil' for his unflashy approach to running the economy, wants to build up a reserve fund in case he needs to help Britain's economy through a Brexit slowdown ahead.