There was a surprise fall in unemployment by 7,000 to 2.46m announced yesterday by ONS. That means an unemployment rate of 7.8 per cent, compared to 10 per cent in the eurozone and the US.
Admittedly there could be further rises, not least when interest rates rise and the government takes an axe to public sector jobs.
But where does yesterday’s figure leave David Blanchflower, the famous economist who warned a year ago that – without £90bn of extra government investment in infrastructure – the dole queue would double to 4m?
Blanchflower, who left the monetary policy committee of the Bank of England last summer, has been a thorn in the side of the Tories and their promise of more strict fiscal disclipline. Recently he warned that George Osborne would lead Britain into another 1930s-style recession.
How seriously exactly should we take this and other predictions?
Also on George Osborne: If you’re interested in the internal investigation into his expenses, here is the conclusion of the Standards and Privileges Committee, published today:
“Mr Osborne has accepted that he breached the rules. In our view, these breaches were uninteded and relatively minor. Mr Osborne has already repaid £270, to which he has added interest. We recommend that Mr Osborne repay £1,666.”