Laith Khalaf, Senior Analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown: “Philip Hammond is feeling particularly Tigger-like apparently, but there’s no honey today for public services, more a hint of some honey tomorrow in the Autumn Budget later this year.
“That promise is based on current economic tailwinds continuing until then, and not being snatched away by the vagaries of economic forecasting. In other words, don’t count your chickens just yet.
“The pound rose on currency markets in reaction to the improved economic forecasts, in particular the expectation that real wage growth will return to the UK this year, raising the prospects for higher interest rates.
“There’s not a great deal of reaction on the stock market, reflecting the stripped-down nature of the statement and the lack of any clear policy changes affecting individual companies.
“Despite the upbeat tone from the Chancellor, the UK is clearly out of favour as an investment destination for both domestic and overseas investors. In particular, retail investors continue to withdraw money from funds investing in UK shares, preferring international markets instead.
“While there are clearly risks to the UK economy, the current bout of extreme pessimism towards the UK stock market looks overcooked. The UK is home to a diverse range of companies, many of whom pay a decent dividend, and it shouldn’t be ignored by investors looking for a home for their money.”