Every month, the Treasury publishes a round-up of what independent (mainly City) forecasters are saying about the economy. This always includes the average of these forecasts for the current year and every third month there’s also a table of “medium-term forecasts”. This month’s comparison does offer a little bit of cheer – last month, the average forecast for GDP growth in 2012 fell to 0.4 per cent; this month the average for new forecasts is slightly higher, at 0.5 per cent.
But the main news is the medium-term forecasts, and these are much less reassuring. These were last published in November and they weren’t all that brilliant, but today’s are worse. The table below presents both sets, the final line is taken from the Office for Budget Responsibility’s November Economic and Fiscal Outlook, which now looks somewhat optimistic: