Comment: Osborne glee- but questions remain


Click to follow
The Independent Online

The IMF's upgrade for the UK economy will be greeted with glee in 11 Downing Street.

It comes nine months after George Osborne was drawn into a spat with the IMF’s chief economist, Olivier Blanchard. The Chancellor dismissed him as “one voice, one person”.

The numbers are falling in Osborne’s favour: unemployment is sliding, inflation is back to the 2 per cent target and next week’s official estimates should show the economy growing at around 0.8 per cent for the third quarter in a row.

But you don’t have to scratch beneath the surface to sense the IMF’s reservations about the global recovery: its update, entitled “ Is the Tide Rising?” raises a pointed question. The world faces two risks — deflation and ending emergency monetary policy — which could land us straight back in the mire.

At home, the questions for Osborne over whether businesses will follow up a consumer revival with spending of their own haven’t gone away.