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Economic outlook

The Chancellor began by noting the way that the Coronavirus pandemic has fundamentally altered our way of life and summarising the Government’s response to the crisis.

After promising to do whatever it takes to support people through the crisis, he said: “It’s going to take this country and the whole world a long time to recover”.

Turning to the economic outlook, the Chancellor said that the OBR is now expecting a swifter and more sustained recovery than it had expected in November, with the economy now expected to return to its pre-Covid level by the middle of next year – six months earlier than forecast.

However, he said that in five years’ time, the economy will still be three per cent smaller than it would have been, had it not been for the pandemic.

He said that growth this year is forecast to be four per cent, rising to 7.3 per cent in 2022, followed by growth of 1.7 per cent, 1.6 per cent and 1.7 per cent in the subsequent years.