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Technology gets boost in UK budget but Brexit lowers GDP forecasts

Written by  Nov 22, 2017

Business technology has received a significant boost in the United Kingdom's 2017 budget, unveiled in London on Wednesday.

The country's Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, revealed a new bulk of spending on future technologies such as electrificaiton and 5G networks in his House of Commons speech.

£500mn has been set aside for the roll-out of 5G mobile networks as well as fibre broadband and artificial intelligence, while £540mn is to be spent on improving Britain's network for electric vehicles.

Research and development has received a further £2.3bn in funding but business investment and productivity growth have been scaled down, with growth forecasts reduced for between now and 2021-22.

This reversal has been put down to the continued impact of Brexit, with the country facing a future that is 'full of change, new challenges and new opportunities'.

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"Brexit remains the key area of uncertainty for both GDP growth and the budget deficit, with the key unknown being whether a comprehensive deal can be achieved in both the goods and service sectors," said Shilen Shah, Bond Strategist at Investec Wealth & Investment.

"In anticipation of costs associated with new a relationship with the EU, the government confirmed that it had already spent £750m on Brexit preparations, with a further £3bn set aside."

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