It is not every week that you can describe a growth forecast of 5.5 per cent for the economy as cautious, let alone the official forecast of 4 per cent. But that is how it is looking.
Strong business surveys and official statistics showing retail sales rising strongly even before non-essential shops reopened have added to the optimism. That 5.5 per cent forecast, the average of independent forecasters earlier this month, now looks low, as does the 4 per cent predicted by the Office for Budget Responsibility early last month.
You might say that there is a long way to go this year. But, just as the story of last year’s recession was mainly a reflection of what happened in the second quarter when the