Economic forecast

Short-term, the Office for Budget Responsibility says GDP will shrink by 0.1 per cent in 2012 and then grow by 1.2 per cent in 2013. Initially, it could be that the UK falls into a technical recession again early next year, in what would be a “triple dip”.

Thereafter, it will go up by 2 per cent in 2014, 2.3 per cent in 2015, 2.7 per cent in 2016 and 2.8 per cent in 2017. That is a downgrade on previous estimates, and means the OBR believes Mr Osborne will fail to hit his target of eating into Britain’s debt mountain by 2016. It will not be until 2017-18 before it starts to come down.

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