OBR halves growth forecast
The official forecast for growth in the UK economy this year has been halved. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) cut the forecast for this year from the 1.2% it predicted in December to 0.6%. The cuts were announced at the start of George Osborne’s Budget speech, in which he blamed the cuts on lower-than-expected exports.
The OBR also revealed that the Chancellor had failed to cut the amount the Government borrowed this year. It predicted that the government would be borrowing £121bn in the financial year ending at the beginning of April, which would be the same amount as it borrowed the previous year, excluding certain one-off factors. The OBR has cut its growth forecasts repeatedly since it was established in 2010, when it was expecting 2.8% growth for 2013.
The Chancellor said he was going to “level with people about the difficult economic conditions we still face”.