Autumn Statement 2016: OBR downgrades UK growth forecasts on Brexit uncertainty; Chancellor unveils £23bn National Productivity fund

GDP growth to fall to 1.4% in 2017

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Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/PA Images
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Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/PA Images

The UK's GDP growth forecast for 2017-18 has been revised downwards by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) in today's Autumn Statement, with Brexit-related uncertainty expected to cost the country 2.4 percentage points in growth over the next few years.

Meanwhile, Hammond also unveiled a new £23bn National Productivity Investment fund focusing on innovation and infrastructure, which will make investments over a five-year period.

He is also launching a £2.3bn housing infrastructure fund, with the aim to deliver 100,000 new homes in "areas of demand", and a further £1.4bn will go towards 40,000 additional affordable homes.

Hammond is also investing £1.1bn in the transport networks, including £220m to reduce traffic pinch points, £110m for East West Rail and commitment to deliver Oxford to Cambridge Expressway, and more than £1bn for digital infrastructure, as well as 100% business rates relief on new fibre infrastructure.

He has also announced a £1.8bn from Local Growth fund for English regions, which will allocate £556m to local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) in the North of England, £542m to the Midlands and East of England, and £683m to LEPs in the South West, South East and London.

Rural Rate Relief will be increased to 100%, "giving small businesses a tax break worth up to £2,900".

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