Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news, as the International Monetary Fund says UK has ‘flexibility’ to spend more

  • IMF: UK has flexibility to boost public spending
  • Fund: Cuts should be eased if Hard Brexit materialises
  • IMF has also cut global growth forecasts

The IMF’s views could also be a boon to the opposition Labour party.

At last month’s party conference, Jeremy Corbyn outlined several spending pledges, including more free childcare for pre-school children, while also maintaining the triple-lock on the state pension, the winter fuel allowance, and free pensioner bus passes.

Related: Five key themes in Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour conference speech

The IMF has also urged the Bank of England to be cautious about raising interest rates.

With Brexit uncertainty hanging over the economy like a fog, the BoE should show flexibility, it argues:

In the United Kingdom, where the output gap is closed and unemployment is low, a modest tightening of monetary policy may be warranted, although at a time of heightened uncertainty, monetary policy should remain flexible in response to changing conditions associated with the Brexit negotiations.

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