OBR forecast GDP growth of 2.0% in 2016, 2.2% in 2017 and 2.1% in 2018
Higher debt and budget deficit figures forecast in the next few years, but budget still predicted to move into surplus by 2019/20
Commenting on the latest forecast published by the OBR in conjunction with the Chancellor’s Budget statement, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce, said:
“The worsening headwinds in the global economy are a major cause of the OBR’s downgraded growth forecast, but problems at home have also played a part.
“Our own economic forecast shows slightly better figures than the OBR, but most projections show moderate, steady growth in the British economy at a rate of 2% or slightly higher, which is set to remain higher than in most G7 countries.
“Even though the public finance figures are more realistic than in November, their new estimates are still ambitious in our view. Our own forecast anticipates a larger deficit than the OBR predicted in November.
“We continue to believe that achieving a surplus in excess of £10 billion in 2019 will prove to be highly challenging.
“The most worrying feature of the OBR forecast is the downgrading of the estimate of future increases in productivity, which remains a key challenge for the British economy in the years ahead.”