"It’s all looking better than we dared hope: unemployment down again last month, retail sales rising at their fastest rate in 14 years, growth UK-wide higher than expected – and Chancellor Philip Hammond set to announce an infrastructure spending boost in his Autumn Statement this week.
But strong though the case may be for infrastructure spending projects, there are debt and deficit constraints. And searching questions need to be asked on the efficacy of infrastructure spending.
In Scotland, where growth is notably weaker, there are worrying downward pressures ahead on household budgets that will dampen the contribution of consumer spending to growth. Scotland’s draft budget on 15 December will be a special challenge for Finance Secretary Derek Mackay."
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