Home Articles Office for Budget Responsibility: the key data. What does it say about public sector employment?
Office for Budget Responsibility: the key data. What does it say about public sector employment? PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 30 November 2010 12:31

The Office for Budget Responsibility has published its report into the state of the economy - with forecasts on every aspect of the state of Britain, between now and 2016.

The key story, for many is the fact that public-sector job losses under the government's deficit-cutting plans will be much less punishing than first feared.

The OBR says in its comprehensive report (complete with xls downloads) the details of the government's four-year spending review, published last month, had enabled it to slash its estimate of public sector job losses to 330,000 from 490,000.

It also says the probability of the government achieving its deficit-cutting goals had increased since June.

However, the OBR cut its growth forecasts for coming years, although it remains markedly more optimistic than other forecasters, including the OECD. As expected, the OBR upgraded its forecast for growth this year to 1.8% from 1.2% in June, reflecting the economy's surprisingly strong performance in the summer. This matches the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's latest prediction.

There is a tonne of useful data in this report - including levels of household debt, for instance (see above).

But the key figures are the ones below - these show the OBR's forecasts for state of the nation statistics.

Data summary

Here's some methodology from the OBR:

The detailed receipts and expenditure tables use HM Treasury's methodology from the End of year fiscal report to break down the differences between forecast and outturn into the following categories:

• economic determinants: components of the fiscal forecast are generally related to economic determinants. For example, income tax receipts are to a large extent dependent on the level of wages and salaries, while gilt rates are a key determinant of the debt interest forecast. Any differences between the forecasts of these economic determinants and their eventual outturn values will partly explain the differences between forecast and outturn receipts and expenditure;

• audited assumptions: the forecasts of some determinants in the previous Government's fiscal forecasts were based on assumptions audited by the National Audit Office (NAO). Differences between forecast and outturn for those determinants subject to audited assumptions partly explain differences between forecast and outturn for receipts and expenditure. A full list of the audited assumptions was given in the March Budget;2

• fiscal forecasting differences: any differences between forecast and outturn receipts and expenditure, beyond those which can be explained by differences in the economic determinants and audited assumptions, are scored as fiscal forecasting differences. These reflect changes over time in the relationships between the economic determinants and components of the fiscal forecast, and the uncertainty inherent in fiscal forecasting;

• policy measures: this reflects the impact of new policy measures announced after the publication of the forecast; and

• other factors: changes in the definitions or statistical treatment of components of the public finances are scored under other factors. This also includes the removal of the AME margin.

1.6 In general, data on the economy and public finances is open for revision a considerable length of time after initial publication. The outturn data presented here could therefore change in the future.

What can you do with this data?

Download the data

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This is not a news report and may contain views expressed by the author which are not supported by GNM.


Courtesy to guardian.co.uk.


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