OBR's Election Gift to Tories, Maybe

Good unemployment and growth news from those always reliable soothsayers, the Office for Budget Responsibility. They reckon unemployment will fall from 7.6% to 7% in 2015, then again to 5.6% by 2018. Which means that Mark Carney’s “threshold” for changing interest rate policy will not be crossed this side of an election.

Growth for this year is more than doubled to 1.4% from 0.6%, also up next year to 2.4% from 1.8%. (Worth noting that in 2010 the OBR thought 2013 growth would hit nearly 3%, in March this year dropped it to 0.6%, and they have now put it back up again). Do keep up.

So Osborne claims his government is fixing the roof while the sun is shining and the numbers sort of back him up. But they might be wrong, or maybe not. Ask them again in a year’s time.

Regardless of the tinkering, the Government will borrow £111 billion this year, just shy of £10 billion less than predicted in March. We will still be borrowing £96 billion next year; then £79 billion, £51 billion and £23 billion in the subsequent years. Osborne claims we will be in the black by 2018/19, in the latter half of the next parliament. An OBR provided election slogan right there: don’t let Labour ruin it etcetera. Convenient!




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Via the FT’s Jim Pickard: Seumas Milne’s idea for Labour election catchphrase:

“The Tories are the real extremists.”

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