Spring Statement – reaction from Lead Economist at Dun & Bradstreet

Phillip Hammond has just announced the new Spring Statement. If you are covering the news and are looking to include commentary, please find comments from Markus Kuger, Lead Economist at Dun & Bradstreet on the risks that the British economy faces.

Markus Kuger, Lead Economist, Dun & Bradstreet

“In today’s spring announcement, the Chancellor of the Exchequer presented new economic forecasts to the public. Worryingly, despite unexpected robust real GDP growth in January, the economy is now forecasted to expand at a slower pace in 2019 than initially thought. While this is not a UK specific development (Germany and France recently lowered their forecasts too), it highlights the risks the British economy is facing in 2019, caused by a European downturn but mainly because of the unclear Brexit situation.

“Today’s announcements did not change Dun & Bradstreet’s assessment of the UK’s country risk rating. While some indicators such as public borrowing and labour market conditions continue to produce good news, others like confidence indicators paint a relatively bleak picture. Because of the unresolved Brexit question and latest proprietary figures showing a significant increase in the number of business failures in Q4 2018, we are maintaining a ‘deteriorating’ risk outlook for the UK and are prepared to revise the country risk rating downwards should the country head for a no-deal Brexit after tonight’s crucial parliamentary vote.”