Just as at the turn of 2010, economic growth is going to be big news in 2011. Back then, the question was when we would return to any growth at all. Now, it's more about how fast our recovery can be.
So just how fast can it be? If you notice, Labour have fallen very quiet about the possibility of a double dip recession. But they'll still leap clamourously upon any sign that coalition policies are stalling growth and jobs. In this, they might even be joined by those on the right who are sceptical of the coming VAT hike.
To put some sort of perspective on proceedings – albeit an incomplete one – I thought CoffeeHousers might appreciate a couple of graphs (see UPDATE below for larger versions). The first is a round-up of 2011 growth forecasts collected by the Treasury. As you can see, the official OBR forecast sits roughtly in the middle of them all, at 2.1 percent. The highest forecast is 3.1 percent, and the lowest 0.9 percent:
These are, effectively, the base numbers that will be used going into 2011. Any shift upwards or downwards from them will no doubt be converted into political capital.