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World Bank revises down UK’s growth forecast

The World Bank has cut its forecast for UK growth pointing to the policy uncertainty of Brexit as a reason. Unfortunately for the NHS, a bad outlook for the economy doesn’t bode well for the NHS.


The World Bank has revised down its forecasts for UK growth for the next few years. Its predictions for growth are down to 1.2% and 1.3% for 2017 and 2018. Before the referendum, their last forecast had been 2.1% for both years. The World Bank also predicted UK growth to be at 1.3% in 2019.

The figures for the UK are part of their latest wide-ranging report on Global Economic Prospects.

Cut in growth due to “heightened level of policy uncertainty”

The report points to the “heightened level of policy uncertainty” for affecting trade and investment.

The heightened level of policy uncertainty, especially regarding trade, has been exacerbated by recent political developments—most notably, electoral outcomes in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Global Economic Prospects, January 2017

The report also warned that it would “take time to resolve the uncertainty” on the UK-EU relationship. And it added that the “magnitude of adverse long-run effects” would depend on the type of relationship that is forged post-Brexit.

… it will take time to resolve the uncertainty surrounding the future relationship between the United Kingdom and the EU, given the protracted nature of the negotiations for international trade agreements, and the unusual complexity of the issues in this case.

Global Economic Prospects, January 2017

It doesn’t seem like the World Bank is all that hopeful for a new trade agreement being done quickly either. You can see the full report at worldbank.org.

Bad outlook for the economy, bad outlook for the NHS

In today’s PMQs and in true Theresa May form, she managed to avoid fully responding to what the government would do to alleviate the problems in the NHS. But she did, however, repeat David Cameron’s line that “you can only have a strong NHS if you have a strong economy.” In a piece in the Guardian before the referendum, the health secretary also said as much.

Here’s Theresa May quoted in the New Statesman:

We can only fund social care and NHS if we have a strong economy.”

Theresa May in PMQs

If she truly believes that, we can only hope that she heeds her own warnings as well as those by financial experts that Brexit (particularly a hard Brexit) will damage the UK economy.

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