How a spot of economic revisionism may yet save George Osborne (and friend David)…

Interesting take on what on the face of it look like some disastrous polling for the current Chancellor of the Exchequer from YouGov Supremo Peter Kellner. It’s predicated on the tendency of forecasters to be overly pessimistic about actual performance of the UK economy:

The revisions of the 2009/2010 figures came well after the last general election. They were far too late to help Labour. This time, any revision is likely to come well before the next election, in good time for Osborne to tell a happier story.

Of course, this may not save him or his party. Even if the most recent GDP figures are revised upwards, nobody can guarantee that growth will continue. Britain’s export markets, especially in Europe, still look fragile. We may find that the double-dip has been postponed but not prevented. Plan B may still be needed.

However, any dispassionate assessment of Britain’s current economic problems must cope with the financial equivalent of the fog of war. Nobody can be sure where we are, even less where we are heading. Which means that Osborne can’t be certain that Plan A is working – but his critics can’t be certain that it is doomed.


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