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Statement builds hope

By David Elliott

A little more detail of George Osborne's autumn statement has been filtering past the business desk.

No prizes for those who guessed he'd copy every other right thinking economy watcher and cut growth forecasts, nor that he'd need an extra £100bn of government borrowing.

The extension of the business rate holiday for struggling small firms is great news while confirmation of the credit easing programme to underwrite £40bn of low interest loans will do wonders, if administered properly.

Probably of more importance is £5bn of new spending on infrastructure and the potential for another £20bn from pension funds. It's a boost the construction sector needs badly.

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