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Telegraph: Project Fear predictions that Brexit would damage the economy were ‘wildly wrong’

Date: 08 01 2018

Project Fear predictions that Brexit would damage the economy were ‘wildly wrong’

Economic organisations that warned a vote to leave the European Union would damage the British economy have already been proved “wildly wrong” in a series of predictions, according to an analysis by a leading pro-Brexit campaign.

Leave Means Leave highlighted a series of forecasts by bodies including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) which it described as “far off the mark”.

The analysis came as Lord Young of Graffham, who was Trade Secretary under Margaret Thatcher greeted news of a boost in Britain’s productivity as proof that predictions of a “car-crash” or “fourteen years of doom and gloom” were wrong. 

Figures from the Office for National Statistics showed labour productivity expanded by 0.9 per cent in the third quarter of last year – the largest rise since 2011. Lord Young said the figures showed people should “have faith in entrepreneurial Britain”.

Examples cited by Leave Means Leave of “inaccurate forecasts” included the World Bank cutting its growth forecast for 2017 to 1.2 per cent following the Brexit vote, and the IMF and OECD predicting that the economy would grow by 1.5 per cent.

In fact, the economy grew by around 1.8 per cent. Each of the bodies had “played a central role in the Remain campaign’s ‘Project Fear’,” Leave Means Leave said.

Disputing claims last month by Christine Lagarde, the IMF’s managing director, that its predictions  “actually turned out to be the reality of the economy”, Leave Means Leave said: “The IMF continue to ignore the successes of the UK economy, with GDP up, jobs up and unemployment down, to hide their embarrassing claims in 2016 that a Brexit vote outcome would be ‘pretty bad to very bad’.”

The campaign also highlighted how Goldman Sachs, the global investment firm, forecast that sterling would fall from $1.25 to $1.14 in 2017. 

However it rose to $1.35. Richard Tice, the businessman who co-chairs the campaign, said, said: “It is extraordinary how far off the mark these organisations have been in their forecasts.

“They have an army of well paid experts charged with making fact-based economic estimations, yet their predictions have been wildly inaccurate.

“Either they are simply incompetent, or it is a co-ordinated, deliberate and ongoing attempt to intimidate the British people and keep the UK in the EU through fear.”

January 7th, 2018: Telegraph