Slowing growth and tax rises to come, let alone higher wage costs and staff shortages, mean many firms are facing a grim outlook
Budget speeches normally last for about an hour and by tradition chancellors spend the first 10 minutes or so pointing out how well the economy is performing. All do this regardless of their political affiliation, and they usually have to be selective in their choice of statistics to support their claims.
We know Rishi Sunak will conform to type because he has already been rehearsing some of his lines: Britain will be the fastest growing economy in the G7 this year; unemployment will peak at less than half of what was feared when the pandemic began; the budget deficit is coming down much faster than the Office for Budget Responsibility expected in the spring.
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