But there were a few things that Harman wasn't letting on. First, as Jim Pickard points out at the FT, the OBR forecasts haven't shifted by all that much from their previous incarnation. And, second, they are still more optmistic than most independent forecasts (conveniently collected by the Treasury here). For instance, the OBR forecasts have the claimant count at 1.5 million next year, whereas the average independent forecast is 1.67 million. And the OBR forecast drops to 1.2 million by 2014, whereas the average independent forecast drops only to 1.37 million. Here's the graph:
If Labour are suddenly going to use the OBR's figures as some sort of gold standard, then they might like to admit just how promising they look alongside many other forecasts.