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AT JUST 68 pages, the spring budget Philip Hammond published on March 8th was less than half the length of last year’s. Blessedly short on the gimmicks favoured by many of his predecessors in the Treasury, its most significant chapter was on official forecasts. The economy has done much better than expected since the Brexit referendum last June (see article): it is forecast to grow by 2% this year, up from the 1.4% predicted in November and well ahead of the recession many feared.

Britain’s budget is prudent and brave but ducks the big questions


When I am reading this essay in this month's THE ECONOMISTS, I don't get the meaning of that half sentence in bold. Can you help me this, Thanks!

  • Posting this as an answer instead of a comment. – Davo Mar 10 '17 at 13:24
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Blessedly (thankfully) short (without very many) of the gimmicks (tricks) favoured (often used) by many of his predecessors (those holding his position before him) in the Treasury.

This sentence is meant to convey the meaning that previous budget reports, produced by the previous staff of this office, were not as clearly written, and the reviewer appreciates the new approach.

See also Mark Ripley's version from the comments:

It means that past budgets were filled with complicated phrases (gimmicks), designed to hide any real understanding of those budgets, and the writer is blessing the new budget because it doesn't do so.

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    You beat me to the answer. My version was "It means that past budgets were filled with complicated phrases (gimmicks), designed to hide any real understanding of those budgets, and the writer is blessing the new budget because it doesn't do so." – Mark Ripley Mar 10 '17 at 13:29
  • That's a good answer as well. :) – Davo Mar 10 '17 at 13:30
  • feel free to steal any parts of my answer if you think it will improve yours. ;-) – Mark Ripley Mar 10 '17 at 13:34

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