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IMF upgrades UK growth forecast to 2.4% from 1.9%

21 January 2014

21 January 2014

The good thing about economic forecasting is that it’s only right when it’s good news for your party. Today the IMF has upgraded its growth forecast for the UK in 2014 from 1.9% to 2.4%, which means that from a Coalition perspective the organisation – having had a rather rocky relationship with the Treasury over the past year or so – is entirely right and filled with jolly good fellows. This is the biggest upgrade for any developed nation. The IMF also said that growth in 2015 will be 2.2%.

George Osborne calculated when he delivered last year’s Budget that he just needed to buy some time until the summer, when the recovery could begin. Now he and David Cameron are making the most of talking about their ‘long-term economic plan’ (Cameron even has a clunky hashtag) to contrast it with the associations that voters still make between Labour and economic chaos.

But as the good news keeps coming for the Tories, naturally it dries up for the Labour party, who had been drawing deep from the pool of poor figures and disparaging predictions in 2012 and early 2013. Ed Balls has released his stock response:

‘After three damaging years of flatlining, any growth is both welcome and long overdue. But this is the slowest recovery for 100 years and working people are facing a cost-of-living crisis with real wages now down £1600 a year under David Cameron.

‘With business investment still weak and the IMF forecasting that UK growth will slow down again next year, it’s clear that this is not yet a recovery that is built to last. Simply to catch up all the lost ground since 2010 we need 1.5 per cent growth each quarter between now and the election.

‘Instead of more complacency from George Osborne we need Labour’s plan to secure a stronger recovery and earn our way to higher living standards for the many, not just a few at the top. That means reforms to our banks and energy market, expanding free childcare to make work pay, a compulsory jobs guarantee and a plan to build 200,000 new homes a year.’


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  • Tom Tom

    If you knew the internals of the IMF Isabel you would not care what it says or does….Nevertheless you will find 80% growth is concentrated in London and is nominal driven by house sales and related financial services for cash inflows from areas of instability – Italy, Spain, Greece, Cyprus, China, Colombia, France

  • HJ777

    It seems that Labour Party discipline requires that whenever a Labour shadow cabinet member (and perhaps even every Labour MP) makes any public (and even private, for all I know) pronouncement whatsoever, they are obliged to include the stock phrase “cost-of-living crisis”.

    I wonder what sort of punishment is applied to anyone who breaks this rule in favour of speaking normal English?

  • Makroon

    Nobody in their right mind would describe the snivelling French apparatchik Olivier Blanchard as a “jolly good fellow”, BTW he is still underestimating UK growth.

    Labour’s “break up the banks” stunt is patently obviously another attempt to shift the blame for the financial crisis from them to the banks, but the CH crew would have us believe it is a serious policy initiative.
    I see the DT has fired it’s editor and replaced him with a “media manipulator” – perhaps to prepare for a change of sides before the election. Fraser’s job is looking a bit dicey ….

  • Mynydd

    Do we still have our AAA rating?

    • Nicholas chuzzlewit

      No Gordon Brown’s structural deficit and a 7.3% contraction of the economy saw to that. Even an imbecile and DevotedLabour Troll like you cannot blame that on the coalition. A typical contribution on behalf of Labour the party of lies, lying and liars.

      • realfish

        Not to mention Labour’s 25% devaluation of the £

    • Holly

      We are coming through the disaster left by Labour without it, so like many financial’ experts’ all pretty meaningless, in the grand scheme of things.

      • Redrose82

        Talking of meaningless, what on earth are you talking about?

        • Nicholas chuzzlewit

          We’ll first of all, welcome back from Mars. Let me explain. Between 1997 and 2013 this country endured a Chancellor later to become Prime Minister who spent money incontinently and in Iain Martins words was: ” a catastrophic chancellor who fell for the epoch defining folly that the ship he was steering was unsinkable”. Indeed, he believed that he had brought an end to “boom and bust” despite 3,000 years of evidence to the contrary. He designed, with the help of fellow lunatic Ed Balls, a banking regulatory system that produced the first British bank failures in 150 years. There were many such lunacies with ill advised Gold sales, insane PFI contracts, abolishing the 10p tax rate for the low paid etc which culminated in a gigantic structural deficit and a 7.3% contraction of the economy. The current government has since been wrestling with the consequences of this insanity. We are now the fastest growing economy in the peer group of developed western economies. That said, I bet you wish you had stayed on Mars.

          • Holly

            Thank you.

          • telemachus

            You mentioned spin above
            That is worse
            It is a fabrication of lies
            Gordon ably aided by the charismatic one engineered the longest period of untrammelled prosperity this country has known in a century
            It is a bit sad that The US banking crisis blew him off course but remember it was Gordon who rescued them from that
            And then engineered our progressive recovery until that criminal Osborne choked it off by axing capital investment to demonstrate his macho to Laws And Danny-Sadly Osborne gave use the prolonged double dip from which we are thankfully now recovering

            • Nicholas chuzzlewit

              There was no double dip recession even the dissembling idiot himself, Ed Balls has had to acknowledge this particular truth. I love all that ‘it is all the fault of those greedy Americans’ crap. It is so utterly dishonest and deluded and thus so worthy of Labour the party of filthy lies, filthy lying and filthy liars.

              • telemachus

                When history is written
                Firstly Osborne and Alexander will be lambasted for textbook fiscal misunderstanding
                In thinking about the deficit they though switching off capital growth would help the year on year deficit
                And secondly Gordon’s astute handling of the banking crisis will be seen to have rescued the western world from a major crash and 25 years of poverty
                *
                Give thanks with me

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Economic gibberish and downright dishonesty.

                • telemachus

                  The evidence is clear. It was the British government’s decision, announced on 8 October 2008, to take a controlling interest in three major banks that prompted the Europeans, followed quickly by the Americans, to do likewise. Indeed, the Europeans made no secret of this. A few days after the British had acted Brown was invited to address the 15 eurozone heads of government. “My friend Gordon has the right plan, we must do it in Europe,” said the French President Sarkozy, introducing Brown to the gathering. The Europeans followed suit on 13 October and the Americans, prompted by Brown, the next day.

                  http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/feb/11/saving-world-william-keegan-review

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  I refer you to Holly’s response which I feel debunks your nonsense most eloquently. Thank you for another example of Labour the party of lies, lying and liars.

                • Holly

                  That is where you make yourself look as idiotic as Bozo and the two Ed’s.

                  Bozo DID NOT ‘rescue the western world from a major crash.
                  He helped cause it, and despite all the money thrown at the financial sector, it happened anyway!
                  If you think Bozo avoided it, why do you persist on saying there was one?
                  Remembering the ‘credit crunch’ started in 2007/08. Long before Osborne was Chancellor.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Cheers Holz, I owe you one.

            • Greenslime

              :-)

              Do you contribute to the script of ‘The Thick of It’?

            • Holly

              This longest period of ‘untrammelled prosperity’ you ramble on about was because of cheap credit, government borrowing and was as bogus as the ‘self-certified’ mortgage applications.
              Having financial businesses like Northern Rock offering 125% mortgages on over-valued house, to people who could not really afford them did not help either.

              Most of the PAYE tax revenue went directly to cover the welfare bill, which in itself is an absolute disgrace, and helps show how utterly useless Bozo was.
              Then there was the catastrophic 2009 warning of the expected tax gap of £250 million per year, in 2010/11 as well as looking ahead to changes in 2012/13.
              This would be TEN PERCENT or higher of money collected in tax.
              People were using their credit cards to do the weekly shop FGS! While being criminalised for not ensuring their bin lids were closed, or spied on taking their children to school.

              Bozo, and his two advisor’s, Miliband & Balls were an unmitigated disaster for this country, and as PM Bozo was completely over-rated, clunking and way out of his depth.
              Labour are, always have been, and always will be unfit for government.
              All you do, by your comments is, give credence to mine, and other’s, comments by trying to support/deny Labour’s catastrophic time in office.

          • Makroon

            If only Cameron (or any other Tory spokesperson), could articulate this as well as you have.

            • Tom Tom

              He would be fired for gross inaccuracy and ignoring the 2010 election after which Brown was NOT PM

          • Tom Tom

            Actually it was between 2001 and 2007 that Brown spent profligately and that was after Blair made commitments on TV (Panorama I think) about NHS spending. What Brown did is dramatically increase taxes after 1997 – look at how Stamp Duty went from 1% to 3%, and how Pension Funds started being taxed on internal dividend income.

            Brown had a tright rein on public spending until 2001. From 2010 to 2013 we have had an idiot as Chancellor when better men were available

            • Nicholas chuzzlewit

              I cannot argue with much of that although I would be interested to know who the better men are and how their approach would have differed materially from that of Osborne given that, they too, would be wrestling with the LibDem Elephant. That is not a sarcastic comment by the way but a genuine expression of interest.Finally,I think we sometimes forget that however incompetently, imperfectly (add your own adjectives as you see fit) Cameron and Osborne may be, they did this country a great service by removing Gordon Brown from Downing Street. It is always worth considering what he and his fellow lunatics would have inflicted on Britain had Labour done a grubby little deal with the Lib Dems in May 2010. I am confident that we would not be the fastest growing economy in the developed World today.

              • the viceroy’s gin

                They photocopied Darling’s budget, so they’re the same men as Darling, clearly, except they increases spending from there, after their buds in the IMF demanded they do so.

                These lesser men had no business joining with the LD’s, so that’s no excuse for their socialist stupidity.

                The LibLabCon clones are clones. The Camerluvvies didn’t perform any great service, particularly since their own service was a continuation of existing LibLabCon clone policy, which it was.

          • Redrose82

            I could not agree more with every word you say but my post in reply to Holly was because I couldn’t make any sense out of what she had written – can you?

        • Holly

          The AAA rating is over-rated and has been proved quite meaningless, in the grand scheme of things….
          Just like the predictions of the financial ‘experts’.

          In just under four years, this country is turning around. With lower unemployment than in previous downturns, and other problems, that were nothing to do with the government….
          Commodity prices, Europe, bad winters, demonstrations, riots etc.
          So forgive me if I find your mentioning of the AAA rating as meaningless…in the grand scheme of things, because to get to where we are, from where we were, is no mean feat.

          I hope that we continue to get the country out of the mess Labour’s two Ed’s helped dump us in, but I couldn’t give a fig about whether we get the AAA rating back, because that makes little difference to people trying to get through what we inherited from The last Labour government.

          Hope that explains it a bit better for you.

          • Nicholas chuzzlewit

            Nice one Holz. I tried to explain it to him as we’ll.

            • Holly

              I thought you did great, and you managed to add other insane stuff the ‘clunking fist’ & Balls did, that I did not mention.
              Pity some folks forget the deliberate acts of Labour’s economic incompetence, and take the same lazy cop out.

    • HJ777

      There are three credit rating agencies.

      We still have an AAA status with one of them but not the other two.

    • Nicholas chuzzlewit

      Yes, one of the recognised rating agencies still accords us a triple A rating.

  • DWWolds

    Someone should tell Balls a few home truths eg:

    1.

    • Nicholas chuzzlewit

      They are probably one and the same. The chances of two such cosmic idiots existing in one country contemporaneously is too horrible to contemplate.

      • HJ777

        We’ve already had to contemplate (and, indeed, suffer) it – have you forgotten the days of Brown and Balls at the Treasury?

        • Nicholas chuzzlewit

          Fair comment but trust me, I will never forget what those two swine did to this country in the name of their own strataspheric arrogance. They honestly believed they had ‘intellectualised’ the end of ‘Boom n’ Bust’ by the clarity and originality of their own thinking.

  • HookesLaw

    The point about recoveries in a normal situation is that existing industries go through their normal cycle. The cliff which the economy fell off in 2008 actually destroyed a key tax paying part of the economy which labour thought could go on forever. But the speculative banking was structural, not cyclical,; its gone forever. That’s what is meant by saying we need to rebalance the economy.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Well, “we” don’t need you socialist LibLabCon clones to “rebalance the economy”. You dolts wouldn’t know how to do that, even if it were possible.

      What’s needed is for you socialist dopes to just go away, and quit destroying economic productivity with your job killing mandates, regulations and global warming kookiness. Quit slamming down massive deficits and debt on generations yet unborn. Quit your zeal to go bombs away in foreign lands in support of your islamofascist buddies, who are murdering Christians. Quit your support for moneyprinting madness and QE.

      Just quit, in short, would be the best thing you could do.

  • Bert

    No doubt PRAVDA will go large on the statement of Balls

    • Nicholas chuzzlewit

      How do you spell PRAVDA? Answer: BBC

  • RavenRandom

    Good news. It’s clearly better than it was. However, it tells you a great deal about the accuracy of economic forecasting. The IMF and virtually every other forecaster is always wrong, if they’re right it’s because someone has to be randomly right occasionally.
    The consensus for 2008 in 2007 was about +2.5% in reality it was nearer -7%. Nobody got it right, and in 2008 it really mattered.

    • Fergus Pickering

      If forecasting were accurate I would be a millionaire. But the dead certs keep crossing their legs and falling over.

      • Tom Tom

        Forecasting is made to order and by adjusting the Stochastic Variable you can improve R2 immensely

        • Fergus Pickering

          And what does that mean, old fruit? Can I improve my chances at the gee-gees?

  • wycombewanderer

    Come on Balls get with the programme, you forgot to mention ‘cost of living crisis’!

    • Thatcherite Lee

      No he didn’t. It’s in the first paragraph of his statement.

      • Bluesman_1

        And he forgot to blame “Thatcher”.

  • Hello

    “After three damaging years of flatlining, any growth is both welcome and long overdue”

    Ha! I wasn’t sure if he was talking about the economy there or just the general state of Labour policy! But then I read the bit about “needing Labour’s plan” and I realised he was clearly joking! Very good, Mr. Balls! Labour’s “plan”! Ha! Very witty!

    • Nicholas chuzzlewit

      Great comment. Really looking forward to the spin put on this by idiots like Telemachus, Mynydd etc our resident leftist trolls.

      • telemachus

        Son
        I have just got in and am overjoyed for the country
        *
        Of course it has no bearing on the progressive rise in the cost of living and Osborne’s manifest inability to ensure prosperity is shared my more than a few of his elite friends
        *
        If it is all so good why are there still children in Tower Hamlets still going to school without food in their bellies and without proper shoes
        *
        Osborne needs to get down to (I was going to say Blockbuster but his recession did for that) the video store and borrow Angela’s Ashes

        • Nicholas chuzzlewit

          We’ll done. That is the kind of bizarre insanity we have come to expect from Labour’s favourite Troll. Look on the bright side, you sound a good deal more sensible than that monumentally incompetent, fiscally illiterate, boggle-eyed idiot Ed Balls. Labour the party of lies, lying and liars.

          • telemachus

            You will learn
            Ed has the jovial charisma that will lead us after 2015 from strength to strength

            • Nicholas chuzzlewit

              Or back to the ruin of 2008.

              • telemachus

                Disingenuous son
                That was caused by the US

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  A response worthy of Labour, the party of lies, lying and liars. There were the rest of us thinking that RBS, HBOS and Northern Rock were British institutions operating with the approval of the FSA the regulatory authority designed by Ed Balls and his fellow imbecile Gordon Brown. Nobody believes that “its all America’s fault” rubbish so do desist.

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