Socialist Worker

Lies, damned lies and OBR inflation statistics

by Simon Basketter
Issue No. 2282

Graph showing predicted inflation rate against year

Graph showing predicted inflation rate against year


The Tory-led government set up the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) in May last year. It is supposed to provide “independent and authoritative analysis” of Britain’s public finances.

Here are four recent OBR predictions for inflation over the coming years. As you can see, they vary wildly in their assesment of short term inflation rates.

Moreover, each one of them has significantly underestimated short term inflation. This is currently 5 percent when measured by the government’s preferred CPI measure—and even higher by the RPI one.

Yet all of the predictions estimate that inflation will reach 2 percent by the middle of next year and remain stable at that level after that.


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