Monday, 29 November 2010

And now for the good news

Chancellor George Osborne has been able to report some good news on the economic front today, and a little that is not so good. Remember that the economic forecasts are now being produced independently, by the Office of Budget Responsibility, rather than manufactured and manipulated for the convenience of the government of the day - as was notorious when Gordon Brown was first Chancellor and later PM.

First, this year's economic growth is one and a half times that forecast (1.8% as against the expected 1.2%), though the bad news is that the next two years' expected growth has been adjusted slightly downward, from 2.3% to 2.1%.

Further good news is that there is expected to be at least £6 billion budget surplus by 2015. I also read that the number of public sector jobs expected to go is well down from its earlier 490,000 estimate to just 330,000 - a drop of a third. There will also be no double-dip, we are told - not exactly news, and not a hundred percent certain (virtually nothing is) but it is yet another encouraging sign that such a clear-cut statement can be made with confidence.

I think that, on balance, this is broadly good news, and we can trust it as well!

The Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) is saying that this is inaccurate, but I haven't been able to find any evidence that they might have presented to back up their claim.

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