Robert Chote distils the key messages from our latest Forecast evaluation report – published today – in his press conference presentation and accompanying speaking note.
The OBR is likely to revise down potential productivity growth in its November forecast, weakening the outlook for the public finances. This would be partially offset by lower equilibrium unemployment, more hours worked and downward revisions to borrowing last year.
We have decided to push back the publication of our 2017 Welfare trends report from 10 October to later in the financial year. The report will focus on the forecasting of Universal credit ahead of next year’s planned surge in the number of UC recipients. (more…)
Official figures this week showed a big jump in government debt interest spending. Read our paper on the debt interest outlook and risks.
This paper is a slightly modified standalone version of Chapter 8 of our July 2017 Fiscal risks report.
Since the publication of our March 2016 Economic and fiscal outlook we have received a request for further detail underlying our stamp duty land tax (SDLT) forecast. We have published this new supplementary forecast information on the March 2016 EFO page.
The budget deficit in June was around £2 billion up on last year and £2 billion higher than market expectations, reflecting strong growth in departmental spending, debt interest payments and contributions to the EU.
Confronted by a vulnerable fiscal position and a challenging political environment, the Government will need to review the fiscal risks that it has exposed itself to for policy reasons, to prepare for the cost of unexpected shocks and to address some long-term pressures on receipts and spending. And to do so while managing the uncertainties posed by Brexit, which could influence the likelihood and impact of several other risks.
The Office for Budget Responsibility has produced regular medium-term forecasts and long-term projections for the UK public finances since 2010. We have always emphasised the uncertainty that lies around them and have quantified it in various ways. Parliament has now asked us to build on this work by producing a regular report on ‘fiscal risks’. In doing so, we seek to identify specific shocks or pressures that could push the public finances away from our latest medium-term forecast or threaten fiscal sustainability over the longer term. (more…)
The Chancellor has approved the appointment of Sir Christopher Kelly as a non-executive member of the OBR. Sir Christopher will succeed Dame Kate Barker on the oversight board, which holds responsibility for managing risks and safeguarding the independence of the OBR.