Since the Autumn Statement, economic news has been far more positive – we have seen consistently strong manufacturing and service sector figures, for example, with a stream of positive data coming from UK business and industry. Will this be reflected in today’s speech? Will we see upgraded growth predictions once more? UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, made a point of emphasising the strength of the UK economy during Prime Minister’s Question Time, advance of the Budget speech.
Businesses have had a mixed bag from this government and will be looking to the Chancellor to stimulate business spending and grow the country’s industrial strategy – a focus has been taking on and training new workers, attracting and nurturing talent and a diverse workforce, injecting more funding into particular industries. It’s also all about business rates and their implications for growing and internationalising UK businesses – we know that there will be sharp rises in some areas of the country, so we will be looking for any balance to this from a boost in investment and funding for businesses in those areas. There may also be a drop in rates in some other regions.
The Budget will also need to reflect the rising costs for UK exporters and importers, which could have a significant effect on UK businesses and represents an area that is crucial to the success of the economy.
We don’t expect Sterling to move much in response to the speech, unless there are any big, shock announcements, which we believe are unlikely in the context of the Chancellor’s approach. But what we’ve learned over the past year is to expect the unexpected –so, watch this space…
For more information, infographics and the latest currency insights, visit www.halofinancial.com/news