Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Amidst the Blizzard of Statistics ...

Amidst the blustery winter conditions, the Office of Budgetary Responsibility (OBR) issued a blizzard of economic statistics yesterday, as part of its autumn economic forecasts.

The OBR is a new independent institution set up by the government to bring greater impartiality to the publication of economic statistics. So what did the OBR say?

Well, the weather may be lousy, but overall the economic clouds show signs of lifting:
  • Economic growth for this year is revised up from 1.2% to 1.8%.
  • Economic growth for 2011 is revised down from 2.3% to 2.1%, but remains buoyant.
  • By 2015, the estimated public sector job losses from the cuts is reduced to 330,000, compensated by 1.5 mn extra jobs created by the private sector.
  • We are on course to cut the budget deficit within 5 years, and bring national debt down.

There is no cause for complacency. But the OBR confirmed that the risk of a double-dip recession has now ebbed. As the FT concluded today, 'Britain can take its medicine ... Mr Osborne looks wise to have taken out the additional insurance of a tighter fiscal stance given the scale of the crisis now engulfing the eurozone.'


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