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2022-23 budget deficit lower than March forecast

The initial full-year estimate of government borrowing in 2022-23 is £139.2 billion, an £18.1 billion increase on the 2021-22 figure but £13.2 billion lower than our March forecast. This difference was driven by central government spending (£8.1 billion lower than forecast), local authorities net borrowing (£3.2 billion below forecast) and public corporations net borrowing (£6.9…

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The OBR’s advisory panel – expressions of interest

The Office for Budget Responsibility established an advisory panel of leading economic and fiscal experts in 2011 to help develop and scrutinise its work programme and methods. Since the establishment of the panel, we have held regular meetings in which we have discussed the content of each of our core publications, as well as the…

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Energy support measures raise borrowing in February

Government borrowing in February 2023 was £16.7 billion, up £9.7 billion on last year, largely thanks to spending on energy schemes. Year-to-date borrowing of £132.2 billion is up £15.5 billion (13.2 per cent) on last year. But it is only up £6.9 billion (5.9 per cent) on a like-for-like basis (correcting for student loans figures…

Policy costings March 2023

March 2023 All policy costings presented to the Office for Budget Responsibility at Spring Budget 2023 were scrutinised and were certified as reasonable, central estimates and were included in our forecasts. The Government’s Spring Budget 2023 policy costings document briefly describes the methodologies underpinning these costings. In our March 2023 Economic and fiscal outlook we have published an assessment on the…

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Chancellor uses fiscal windfall to address persistent supply-side challenges

The economic and fiscal outlook has brightened somewhat since November. The near-term downturn is set to be shallower; medium-term output to be higher; and the budget deficit to be lower. But persistent supply-side challenges remain. Against this backdrop, the Chancellor has spent two-thirds of the improvement in the fiscal outlook on his Budget measures, providing…

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Explaining our correction to the January 2023 Monthly profiles

While not a statutory obligation of the OBR, the publication of monthly profiles for the public sector finances consistent with our most recent EFO is something we started doing in May 2020, shortly after presenting our initial Covid reference scenario in the early weeks of the pandemic. Given the extraordinary pressures that the pandemic was…

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Economic and fiscal outlook: user survey results

Over the past 18 months, we have undertaken two separate user surveys to gather feedback on the length, content, and accessibility of our Economic and fiscal outlooks (EFOs). This article reports on the main messages from those surveys and how we plan to respond. December 2021 survey Our first user survey was conducted over December…

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January surplus and revisions pull deficit further below profile

January is a big month for tax receipts, with self-assessment (SA) payments due. At £35.1 billion, SA receipts exceeded our November forecast by £5.8 billion (partly reflecting timing effects). Alongside large downward revisions to borrowing in previous months, this has left year-to-date borrowing in the first ten months of 2022-23 £22.0 billion below our forecast…

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Non-executive member of the Office for Budget Responsibility

Candidates for a non-executive member of the OBR are sought to replace Sir Christopher Kelly, whose second term ends on 20 June 2023. This position presents a rare opportunity to play a key role in the governance of the UK’s independent fiscal council, which operates at the heart of the UK Government’s fiscal policy framework….

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Forecast evaluation report 2023

The aftermath of the pandemic was characterised by a stronger-than-expected recovery in demand. But this bumped up against domestic and international supply constraints, which were compounded by the Russian invasion of Ukraine leading to a sharp rise in inflation. In this year’s Forecast evaluation report, we consider the accuracy of our forecast for the economic…

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Forecast evaluation report – January 2023

Our Forecast evaluation report will be published today at 11am. This annual report compares our forecasts against subsequent outturn data and will identify lessons for future forecasts.

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Year-to-date deficit rises, but by less than forecast

Borrowing in the first nine months of 2022-23 was £128.1 billion, up £5.1 billion on last year but £2.7 billion below our November forecast profile in the headline figures and £11.3 billion below profile on a like-for-like basis (correcting for a temporary difference in student loans figures in our forecast profile versus ONS outturn). This…

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March 2023 forecast timetable

On 19 December the Chancellor announced that the Spring Budget 2023 will be held on Wednesday 15 March and commissioned us to publish our latest outlook for the economy and public finances that day. We have now agreed the timetable for the forecast process and published the detail below.