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Non-executive members review the Budget timetable decision-making process

The independent non-executive directors of the OBR have undertaken a review of the decision-making process around the forecast timetable for the Autumn 2021 Budget to inform the forthcoming review of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The previous MoU review in 2017 was confined to government stakeholders involved in the forecast process. In this case, to…

Annual report on forecast accuracy published 9 December

Latest Forecast evaluation report to be published on 9 December

Our latest Forecast evaluation report (FER) will be published at 11am on Thursday 9 December. Our annual FER examines how our forecasts compare to subsequent outturn data and identifies lessons for future forecasts. The pandemic brought about the largest shock to the economy and public finances since the OBR was established. This report will look…

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Budget deficit down over £100 billion so far in 2021-22

Government borrowing in October 2021 was £18.8 billion, down £0.2 billion from last year. But year to date borrowing of £127.3 billion is down £103.4 billion (44.8 per cent) on the same period last year. This reflects the economic recovery boosting receipts and the lower cost of pandemic-related support schemes, but is partially offset by…

Overview of the October 2021 Economic and fiscal outlook

The successful vaccine rollout has allowed the economy to reopen largely on schedule, despite continuing high numbers of coronavirus cases. The vaccines’ high degree of effectiveness, combined with consumers’ and businesses’ surprising degree of adaptability to public health restrictions, has meant that output this year has recovered faster than we expected in March, boosting tax…

Policy costings document October 2021

October 2021 All policy costings presented to the Office for Budget Responsibility at Budget and Spending Review 2021 were scrutinised and were certified as reasonable, central estimates were included in our forecasts. The Government’s Budget and Spending Review 2021 policy costings document briefly describes the methodologies underpinning these costings. In our October 2021 Economic and…

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Register for the Economic and fiscal outlook press briefing

We will publish our latest Economic and fiscal outlook (EFO) on Wednesday 27 October once the Chancellor has completed his Budget statement in Parliament. The EFO will present our latest forecast for the economy and public finances, which will include all policy measures announced since our previous forecast in March, including in the combined Spending…

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Borrowing continues to undershoot forecast

Government borrowing in August 2021 was £20.5 billion, down £5.5 billion from the same month last year. Year to date borrowing of £93.8 billion is now £31.9 billion below our March forecast profile. That reflects both stronger than expected receipts (thanks largely to a faster than expected economic recovery) and lower than expected spending (due…

Line chart showing cumulative public sector net borrowing

Borrowing continues to fall faster than expected

Government borrowing in July 2021 was £10.4 billion, down £10.1 billion from the same month last year. Year-to-date borrowing of £78.0 billion is now £26.1 billion below our March forecast profile. That reflects both stronger-than-expected receipts (thanks largely to a faster-than-expected economic recovery) and lower-than-expected spending (due to the faster-than-expected unwinding of covid-related government support).

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HMT launches search for new Budget Responsibility Committee member

Last week HMT launched the recruitment campaign to find Professor Sir Charlie Bean’s successor as the economic expert on the Budget Responsibility Committee. The Budget Responsibility Committee (BRC) takes collective responsibility for the analysis and judgements that underpin the work of the office and consists of three executive members. Executive members are appointed by the…

Line chart showing cumulative public sector net borrowing

Budget deficit continues to fall faster than expected

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…

Fiscal risks report lighthouse

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…