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Real GDP: central forecast and alternative scenarios

Overview of the November 2020 Economic and fiscal outlook

1.1 The coronavirus pandemic has delivered the largest peacetime shock to the global economy on record. It has required the imposition of severe restrictions on economic and social life; driven unprecedented falls in national income; fuelled rises in public deficits and debt surpassed only in wartime; and created considerable uncertainty about the future. The UK…

Policy costings document November 2020

November 2020 All policy costings presented to the Office for Budget Responsibility at Budget 2018 were scrutinised and were certified as reasonable, central estimates were included in our forecasts. The Government’s Spending Review policy costings document briefly describes the methodologies underpinning these costings. In our November 2020 Economic and fiscal outlook we have published an…

Line chart showing cumulative public sector net borrowing

Budget deficit tops £200 billion in six months

Halfway through the 2020-21 fiscal year, cumulative borrowing has reached £208 billion, £51 billion above full-year borrowing in 2009-10 (at the peak of the financial crisis). Year-to-date borrowing is still lower than assumed in the central scenario from our Fiscal sustainability report, as both GDP and tax receipts have fared better than assumed. But with a…

Image of Richard Hughes, Andy King and Charlie Bean

New Chair makes first appearance at Treasury Select Committee

Richard Hughes gives evidence to the Treasury Select Committee (TSC) for the first time as Chair of the OBR alongside Budget Responsibility Committee (BRC) members Andy King and Prof. Sir Charlie Bean. The TSC raised an inquiry ‘Tax after Coronavirus’ to examine what the major pressures on the tax system are after the economic fallout…

The OBR at 10 intro slide for Robert Chote's presentation to the Society of Professional Economists featuring OBR logo and date of presentation (24 September 2020)

Society of Professional Economists webinar

Watch Robert Chote and Richard Hughes marking the OBR’s 10th anniversary and Robert’s tenure as chairman at the Society of Professional Economists webinar ‘The OBR at 10’ or download the presentation slides and accompanying speaking note.

OECD logo

OECD review hails OBR’s outputs and independence

During its first decade in operation the Office for Budget Responsibility has established itself as a fixed part of the UK’s institutional landscape, delivering high quality publications, reducing bias in official forecasts and bringing greater transparency to the public finances, according to an external review led by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. The…

Line chart showing cumulative public sector net borrowing

Budget deficit reaches £128 billion in just three months

The budget deficit continues to rise sharply. Three months into the 2020-21 fiscal year, tax payments received by HMRC are down by 35 per cent on last year, while central government spending is up 40 per cent. But year-to-date borrowing is lower than assumed in the central scenario from our Fiscal sustainability report. That reflects…

Photograph of Richard Hughes

Richard Hughes confirmed as the next Chair of the OBR

In June, the Chancellor nominated Richard Hughes as the next Chair of the Office for Budget Responsibility when Robert Chote ends his final term in October. The Treasury Select Committee has now confirmed the appointment. Find out more on the Treasury Select Committee’s website.

Line chart showing real GDP versus our March forecast. Our three economic scenarios assume varying speeds of near-term recovery and degrees of medium-term 'scarring'.

Budget deficit to hit a peacetime record

The coronavirus outbreak and the public health measures taken to contain it have delivered one of the largest ever shocks to the UK economy and public finances. In the Fiscal sustainability report, our three medium-term scenarios (upside, central and downside) see the largest decline in annual GDP for 300 years this year, accompanied by an unprecedented…

Fiscal sustainability report 2020

On July 14 we will publish our latest Fiscal sustainability report, focusing on the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. This will present three alternative scenarios for the economy and the public finances over the medium-term, an assessment of their implications for fiscal sustainability and a discussion of fiscal risks over the medium and long-term. The…

Line chart showing cumulative public sector net borrowing

Budget deficit tops £100 billion in just two months

May’s public finances data continue to show the budget deficit rising sharply. Two months into 2020-21, tax payments received by HMRC are down 43 per cent on the same period last year, while central government spending is up 48 per cent. Relative to our April scenario, initial estimates of both GDP and tax receipts have…