Magazine article Public Finance

Numbers Game

Magazine article Public Finance

Numbers Game

Article excerpt

The economic good news has been maintained in recent weeks with the International Monetary Fund raising its UK growth forecasts, the public finances improving, unemployment continuing to fall and inflation holding steady.

In its World economic outlook, the IMF said UK GDP was expected to expand by 1.4% this year and by 1.9% in 2014. This is an upgrade of 0.5% and 0.4% respectively, compared with the fund's July estimate.

A further boost to Chancellor George Osborne came with September's borrowing figure of £ll.lbn. This is a £lbn improvement on September 2012, and suggests the UK will undershoot the Office for Budget Responsibility's full-year borrowing forecast.

Meanwhile, UK unemployment decreased by 18,000 to reach 2,487,000 in the three months to August 2013. The unemployment rate is now 7.7%, a fall of 0.1 percentage points.

Finally, in terms of the good news, there has been little sign of a pick-up in inflation. …

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