Whatever Osborne’s growth forecasts today, the reality is probably worse

Today's growth and borrowing forecasts are likely to be grim - they are just as likely to be over optimistic.

As part of chancellor Osborne’s Autumn Statement today, new growth predictions from the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) will be revealed. 

All economic roads lead back to growth – less growth means fewer jobs, stagnating or falling living standards and further pressures on public spending. Disappointing growth has also led to the coalition expecting to borrow more than Labour was projected to if it had won the 2010 election.

So analysts will be hanging on the chancellor’s words on how much he expects the economy to grow by, and how much he expects the government will have to borrow during this parliament.

But it is worth remember that, going on the track record, whatever Osborne announces as the OBR’s projections for growth are, the reality will almost certainly be worse. 

Every OBR forecast for 2011 and 2012 has been subsequently downgraded. Here we compile the OBR’s predictions for 2011 growth, along with the OECD forecast and a round up on independent forecasts collated by the Treasury, both released this month:

These have come down drastically – from 2.6% on the snap budget following the election, to 2.1% in November 2010 and then 1.7% last March. However the independent forecasters collated by the Treasury and OECD reckon that growth this year will be as low as 1% and 0.9% respectively.

Similarly OBR predictions for 2012 have been similarly downgraded if not to the same extent.

While these projections have only been reduced from 2.8% to 2.5%, the independent forecasters and the OECD say they expect UK growth of  1% and 0.5% next year.

However bad it sounds today, the reality will probably be worse.



As you’re here, we have something to ask you. What we do here to deliver real news is more important than ever. But there’s a problem: we need readers like you to chip in to help us survive. We deliver progressive, independent media, that challenges the right’s hateful rhetoric. Together we can find the stories that get lost.

We’re not bankrolled by billionaire donors, but rely on readers chipping in whatever they can afford to protect our independence. What we do isn’t free, and we run on a shoestring. Can you help by chipping in as little as £1 a week to help us survive? Whatever you can donate, we’re so grateful - and we will ensure your money goes as far as possible to deliver hard-hitting news.

17 Responses to “Whatever Osborne’s growth forecasts today, the reality is probably worse”

  1. Anonymous

    And since you said they were cutting too fast, it would be worse under Labour.

    The problem is that even you wouldn’t take the medicine.

    That medicine is 30% cuts in public spending. That gets the deficit to zero.

    Then on top the issue of the vast off the book debts need to be addressed. Both you and the Tories have been running a set of accounts that would make Robert Maxwell blush. No admission in the books to owing anyone any pensions, and yet you take the cash for those pensions. No wonder even you were drastically cutting back on state pensions, but preserving those for people who fund you.

  2. How the OBR’s growth projections have fallen | Left Foot Forward

    […] the OBR’s projection of growth would be 0.9 per cent this year and 0.7 per cent next year. As we feared, this is yet another downgrade from earlier projections, as the chart below […]

  3. Wildey

    Whatever Osborne's growth forecasts today, the reality is probably worse: http://t.co/hjwLms6H: writes @danielelton #as12

  4. Alex Braithwaite

    RT @leftfootfwd: Whatever Osborne's growth forecasts today, the reality is probably worse http://t.co/fOvWJSqG

  5. OBR confirm Osborne will borrow more than the Darling projection | Left Foot Forward

    […] also: • Whatever Osborne’s growth forecasts today, the reality is probably worse – Daniel Elton, November 29th […]

Comments are closed.