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How to read the budget watchdog’s numbers for the economy


In addition to the debt and spending numbers, the OBR will also reveal its forecasts for growth and unemployment. Given the unprecedented uncertainty, the OBR outlined three different paths for the economy in its Fiscal Sustainability Report in July: an upside, central and downside scenario.

With a second lockdown sending the recovery back into reverse and the Chancellor extending the furlough scheme into next year, the OBR is likely to revise these figures.

Back in July, its central scenario predicted that unemployment would peak at 12pc while GDP would collapse 12.4pc in 2020. That would be followed by a rapid recovery for the economy, with growth hitting 8.7pc in 2021 and unemployment returning to 5.3pc by 2024. However, in that outcome GDP was still 3pc lower by 2025 than it was in its March forecast.

How does the Government’s spending review affect you? What did and didn’t you like about the Chancellor’s statement? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]


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