Britain's economist are confounding themselves and may even risk being run out of their own club, because this morning (Thursday 22 April) some of the good ones are forecasting that we are looking deep into the eyes of the sharpest economic growth since 1988 this year, as the easing of Covid-19 restrictions encourages consumers to start spending. This is not according to the man shielding his sixth pint in the garden of a pub in Basildon, still celebrating the timely sacking of Jose Mourinho from Spurs, but to some pretty salubrious independent economists at the Treasury.
Laura Kuenssberg may be having none of it, as she struggles to look grim and sober over a few lobbying issues which hardly grip the nation on the BBC at 10.00pm each night, but the average of growth forecasts collected by the Treasury in April was 5.7 per cent, a big jump from the average of 4.7 per cent in March. If the 19 City and independent economists are right (and, let's be honest, that is a huge 'if'), growth this year will be the fastest in 33 years. If you have a pinch or two of salt handy you might want to reach for it, as we in the NTI newsroom have demonstrated again and again in the past ten years that economists tend to err on the side of stupidly wrong, but these people are from JP Morgan, Oxford Economics and Bloomberg Economics, so they have a degree or two between them and the fact is that they expect an even swifter recovery, with growth of 7 per cent or more, which would be the quickest economic advance in the postwar era.
Sanjay Raja is a man to reckon with. He is a senior economist at Deutsche and knows a thing or two about a surge, and he pointed to one in restaurant bookings, as well as higher footfall in shopping centres and high streets. Sanjay thinks the second quarter jump could be as high as 5 per cent, which with news today that Covid-19 vaccines are working much better than predicted, dealing with the new Indian variant as well as all the others and vaccine passports being considered for as early as May, this bright spell may be predicted to last until Vladimir Putin is shot by a British agent and the Russians invade Dorset.
Laura Kuenssberg has to hope so, there is only so much drama you can drag out of Boris Johnson asking for £10 off a Dyson.