I quizzed the Treasury official about it in the post-Budget briefing (full transcript here), saying there is not a single analyst, anywhere, who shares these forecasts. “No one agrees with you” I said. “Well I don’t actually know of any of what you are talking about” he replied. And he claimed earlier “there aren’t that many people that produce five year independent forecasts.”
Well there are about 22 of them, actually. And last week HM Treasury put out a list of them. I present the average of these independent forecasts below, next to the Treasury’s’ forecast of last month. It’s worth putting on the record, because each one of these downgrades will significantly increase the amount the Tories have to borrow or cut. The options facing George Osborne grow uglier by the day.