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New forecasts due on 27 October 2021

Economic and fiscal outlook date announced

29 July 2021 | Economic and fiscal outlook, Announcements

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has commissioned the OBR to prepare our next forecast for the economy and public finances for publication on Wednesday 27 October. Read the Chancellor’s letter to the Chair of the Treasury Select Committee.

Line chart showing cumulative public sector net borrowing

Budget deficit continues to fall faster than expected

21 July 2021 | Monthly public finances release

Government borrowing in June 2021 was £22.8 billion, down over 19 per cent from last year. Year-to-date borrowing of £69.5 billion is now £19.0 billion below our March forecast profile. That reflects both stronger-than-expected receipts (consistent with the faster economic rebound in recent months) and lower-than-expected spending (perhaps reflecting continued shortfalls in spending on pandemic-related…

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The Chairman’s presentation on our third Fiscal risks report

6 July 2021

Richard Hughes distils the key messages from our third Fiscal risks report in his press conference presentation and accompanying speaking note.

Other news

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Fiscal risks report 2021

After the second ‘once in a century’ shock in just two decades, our third Fiscal risks report focuses on three large, and potentially catastrophic, sources of fiscal risks. The pandemic could leave £10 billion per year in spending pressures and long-term economic scars. While unmitigated climate change would spell disaster, the net fiscal costs of…

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Annual report and accounts 2020-21

We have just published our Annual report and accounts 2020-21, which outlines our achievements over the past year and contains an assessment of how we have performed our main duties by our non-executive members. It also contains our accounts for the last financial year and information about how we work.

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Falling budget deficit continues to undershoot forecast

Government borrowing in May 2021 was £24.3 billion, down over 40 per cent from last year. And year-to-date borrowing of £53.4 billion is £14.1 billion below our March forecast profile. More than a third of that reflects differences in the timing of EU divorce bill payments. But lower spending and moderately stronger receipts growth mean…

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Welsh taxes outlook – June 2021 update

On 22 June we published a small update to the Welsh taxes outlook based on recent developments in land transaction tax and landfill disposals tax receipts. Ar 22 Mehefin cyhoeddwyd diweddariad bach gennym i ragolygon trethi Cymru yn seiliedig ar ddatblygiadau diweddar mewn derbyniadau treth trafodion tir a derbyniadau treth gwarediadau tirlenwi. Read the Welsh…

Richard giving evidence to NI parliament

Evidence to the Northern Ireland Finance Committee

On 9 June, OBR Chair Richard Hughes gave evidence to the Northern Ireland Finance Committee on the future role of an independent fiscal council for Northern Ireland. You can read the report on the Northern Ireland Assembly website or watch on NI Assembly TV.

Line chart showing cumulative public sector net borrowing

Budget deficit remains high, but now falling on last year

Government borrowing in April 2021 of £31.7 billion was £15.6 billion below last April and £7.3 billion below the profile consistent with our most recent forecast. The shortfall against forecast mostly relates to the timing of payments to the EU. The underlying outperformance is just £1.8 billion. Compared to last April, at the start of…

Fiscal risks report 2021 due 6 July

Fiscal risks report 2021 due 6 July

Every two years since 2017 the Office for Budget Responsibility produces a report on the fiscal risks facing the UK. We will publish our latest Fiscal risks report (FRR) on Tuesday 6 July. As previously announced, alongside providing updates on significant developments regarding specific risks highlighted in our previous reports, the 2021 FRR will focus…

public sector net borrowing

Record budget deficit undershoots March 2021 forecast

The initial estimate of government borrowing for the 2020-21 fiscal year of £303.1 billion is roughly double the previous record set at the height of the financial crisis in 2009-10 (£157.7 billion). But it is £24.3 billion below our March forecast on a like-for-like basis (and £51.5 billion below it including loan write-offs that are…

fiscal risks report 2021 graphic with light house

Fiscal risks report 2021

Every two years the Office for Budget Responsibility produces a report on the fiscal risks facing the UK. Our next Fiscal risks report (FRR) is due to be released this summer.  This FRR is being prepared in the wake of the largest fiscal risk to have crystallised in peacetime – the coronavirus pandemic – the economic and fiscal consequences of which continue to be felt. It will therefore…

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Supplementary forecast information release

Since the publication of our March 2021 Economic and fiscal outlook we have received a request for further detail on the ‘state pensions underpayment correction’ measure. We have published this new supplementary forecast information below and on the March 2021 EFO page.

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Exchange of letters between Rachel Reeves MP and Richard Hughes

Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Rachel Reeves MP and OBR Chair Richard Hughes have exchanged letters on the subject of the economic and fiscal implications of EU exit and impact of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement on our forecasts. We have published these letters below.  

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Bronwyn Curtis re-appointed

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced that Bronwyn Curtis OBE has been re-appointed as a non-executive member of the OBR and Audit sub-Committee chair. Bronwyn Curtis said: “I am delighted to be re-appointed to the Oversight Board of the Office for Budget Responsibility. As we emerge from the pandemic, the role of the OBR…

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Welfare trends report – March 2021

This year’s Welfare trends report (WTR) comes at the end of an extraordinary year that has resulted in the highest peacetime deficit in UK history. Virus-related support measures dominate that rise, but welfare spending (as defined in UK statistics, so not including the CJRS and SEISS) has also risen by £20.1 billion or 1.6 per…

cumulative public sector net borrowing

Record budget deficit could undershoot our latest forecast

Government borrowing remained high in February at £19.1 billion. With one month of the fiscal year remaining, borrowing has reached £278.8 billion. That far exceeds the previous annual record set at the height of the financial crisis in 2009-10 (£157.7 billion). But it looks set to undershoot our latest estimate for borrowing in 2020-21 (on…

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Supplementary forecast information release

Since the publication of our March 2021 Economic and fiscal outlook we have received a number of requests for further detail on our corporation tax, fuel duty, CJRS and EU financial settlement forecasts. We have published this new supplementary forecast information below and on the March 2021 EFO page.