• OBR growth forecast for 2015 is 2.4%, marginally below the 2.5% predicted in March
  • OBR forecasts growth at 2.3% in 2016 and 2.4% in 2017
  • The deficit will be cut at a smoother pace than predicted in March and surplus will only be achieved in 2019, one year later than envisioned in March

Commenting on the new forecasts published today by the OBR in conjunction with the Chancellor’s Budget, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said:

“The OBR’s new forecast for 2015 is far closer to the mark – and more in line with our own recent forecast.

“However, we believe that the OBR’s growth forecasts for the next two years are to the low side, and underestimate the growth potential of the economy. If the OBR is right, however, delivery of the growth-focused initiatives announced in the Budget will be all the more important.

“We will await more detail on the Chancellor’s plans to boost productivity, in particular, more on how the government intends to address Britain’s persistent current account deficit and our ever-present export gap.

“The Chancellor is right to persevere with his programme for restoring stability to public finances, and has now adopted a more realistic timetable in line with our own forecast. A slightly later budget surplus means more support for economic growth in the meantime – ensuring that deficit reduction does not hit economic activity, business confidence, or job creation.”