Letter: Treasury man defends his record

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THE ASSERTION that the Treasury has been uniquely bad at economic forecasting in recent years is untrue ('The pundit rating: how good are they?', 11 October).

The Treasury's evidence to the Treasury and Civil Service Committee in June 1991 set out our record in detail for 1986-90 comparing it with that of independent forecasters. The main conclusion was that there was little difference, but if anything, the Treasury's record overall was marginally better than the average of independent forecasts.

These findings were confirmed by a recent independent study which concluded: 'There does not appear to be any forecaster who could claim to have been correct in both the boom of 1988 and the slump of 1991.' Their figures suggest that of the forecasters considered, we were among the more accurate.

Alan Budd

Chief Economic Adviser

HM Treasury, London SW1