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Page last updated at 08:58 GMT, Wednesday, 29 August 2012 09:58 UK

OBR's track record 'pretty lousy'


The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has been appalling, its economic forecasts a disaster which have given George Osborne "no end of trouble". So says one of the men who helped write the brief for the OBR back when it was set up in 2010.

Douglas McWilliams, chief executive of the Centre for Economics and Business Research, said the OBR's track record had been "pretty lousy".

"I think they've caused the politicians a lot of trouble," he told the Today programme. "In effect, I think, the coalition has lost the first couple of years, looking at economic growth, because they thought economic growth would come back anyway, and it's turned out not to have happened."

The OBR declined the offer of an interview but said in a statement: "Anyone approaching this task has to recognise the huge uncertainty around all forecasts, and the extent to which data revisions will change the picture of what was an accurate forecast long after the event...

"We always strive to learn lessons from the performance of our forecasts, and we will publish our latest regular report on this in October."

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