29 Nov 2010

‘Slow and sluggish’ recovery at OBR forecast

At the grand surroundings of Lord Kitchener’s old residence over-looking The Mall for the OBR forecasts (Robert Chote‘s come on in the world – he used to have to issue IFS forecasts in a dingey basement in Bloomsbury).

The main headline is that this recovery will be slow and sluggish, slower than anything we’ve known in post-war recoveries (see chart 3.5, p40). Growth forecasts, as widely leaked, are slightly better for this year and slightly worse for the year after.

There are signs (table 4.26, p 131) of a useful £6bn surplus for a tax giveaway pre-election 2015 Budget.

None of this drastically changes the perceptions of the spending round and having been on the receiving end of some brutal and damaging analysis from R. Chote in the past, the Chancellor’s team will be feeling pretty satisfied with what he turned out for our consumption today.

The Treasury’s particularly chuffed that the OBR projects not a 490,000 figure but a new 330,000 figure for public sector job losses by the end of the spending review period (though – para 1.8 p 7 – you get a 410,000 forecast for public sector job losses for the next year after the spending review period, 2015-15).

Tweets by @garygibbonc4