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Tom Josephs nominated to join the OBR

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has nominated Tom Josephs to join the OBR’s Budget Responsibility Committee (BRC). If the nomination is approved by the Treasury Select Committee, Tom will replace Andy King as the fiscal expert on the BRC later this year. Tom Josephs is currently Director of Private Pensions Policy at the Department for…

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Working paper 19: The OBR’s forecast performance

Our latest working paper, The OBR’s forecast performance, provides a comprehensive evaluation of the OBR’s economic and fiscal forecasting record since we were established in 2010. We assess how our 27 forecasts have performed against outturn over the past 13 years and look at how our forecasting record compares to other UK and international forecasters….

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An update on the OBR’s external engagement

In early 2023, we sought expressions of interest for membership of our advisory panel from academics, economists, researchers and industry specialists with expertise in at least one of these six categories: macroeconomics and econometrics; public sector finances and public economics; financial markets and corporate finance; energy and climate change; health and longevity; and labour market…

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Strong receipts bring year-to-date borrowing below forecast

Borrowing in the first three months of 2023-24 totalled £54.4 billion, £12.2 billion above the same period last year but £7.5 billion below the monthly profile consistent with our March forecast. This downside surprise is more than explained by higher central government receipts (£7.7 billion above profile) thanks to surpluses across the three major taxes…

Aftershocks of the early 2020s continue to pose risks to the public finances

In the few years since the ‘once in a century’ shock caused by a global pandemic, rising health-related economic inactivity from 2020, energy prices from 2021 and interest rates from 2022 have placed further pressure on an already-challenging outlook for the public finances – pushing public debt above 100 per cent of GDP and the…

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Dame Susan Rice and Baroness Hogg appointed as non-executive members

The Chancellor has approved the appointment of Baroness Hogg and Dame Susan Rice as non-executive members of the Office for Budget Responsibility. Sarah Hogg and Susan Rice have been appointed to continue the work of the oversight board and audit committee as Sir Chris Kelly and Bronwyn Curtis CBE complete their final terms over the…

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Net debt tops 100 per cent of GDP for first time since 1960s

Public sector net debt stood at 100.1 per cent of GDP in May 2023, topping 100 per cent of GDP for the first time in 62 years. Borrowing in the first two months of 2023-24 totalled £42.9 billion, almost double the same period last year and £2.1 billion above the monthly profile consistent with our…

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Andy King to step down from Budget Responsibility Committee

Andy King will step down as fiscal expert on the OBR’s Budget Responsibility Committee following the conclusion of his five-year term at the end of August. Andy joined the OBR in 2013 as Chief of Staff and was appointed to the BRC in 2018. Before that, he worked in the Treasury in a variety of…

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Debt interest and energy subsidies raise budget deficit

Borrowing in April 2023 of £25.6 billion was £3.1 billion above our March 2023 forecast profile – thanks to both slightly lower-than-expected receipts and slightly higher-than-expected spending – and almost double the £13.7 billion figure from a year ago. This year-on-year increase largely reflects higher inflation pushing up spending on debt interest payments (£3.1 billion…

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Fiscal risks and sustainability 2023 due 13 July

Our latest report on Fiscal risks and sustainability (FRS) will be published on Thursday 13 July. The 2023 FRS report will focus on three current pressures on the public finances: Inactivity and health, where we will consider the role of health in explaining the recent increase in labour market inactivity, analyse its impact on tax…

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Monthly profiles for 2023-24

We have published monthly profiles for receipts, spending and borrowing in 2023-24, consistent with our March 2023 Economic and fiscal outlook, below and alongside our monthly commentary on the public finances.

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Publication of Working paper No.18: Emissions and our tax forecasts

Several of the UK’s tax bases are directly linked to activities that generate greenhouse gas emissions, with others indirectly linked. So as emissions fall as the UK transitions to net zero, receipts generated from these emissions-linked taxes will be affected. In this working paper, we conduct an initial, high-level analysis to explore the proportion of…

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Summer 2023 review of the supply-side effects of policies

In November 2022, in Briefing Paper No. 8: Forecasting potential output – the supply side of the economy, we described the framework we use when assessing whether and how to incorporate the impact of policy measures on our forecast for potential output (the ‘supply-side’ of the economy). We have applied this framework in our November…