Page told the House of Commons finance committee that, based on private-sector forecasts and his own assessments, he expected GDP to contract by about 8.5 percent in the first quarter of 2009 and by 3.5 percent in the second quarter.Any doubts about the merit of the Parliamentary Budget Officer? An office that a responsible government should value and support with the proper financing and legislative structure.
In the budget, the government cited private-sector forecasters as saying GDP would shrink by 0.8 percent in 2009 as a whole.
"We provided a different, more detailed outlook for the first half of this year because we think that what we're seeing now is actually historic, in terms of quarter to quarter declines," Page told the committee.
Hmmm...good thing he clarified that last remark too, as to what's historic in this picture, the numbers or the grossly negligent government that had to be dragged kicking and screaming to recognize the issues and actually do something about them...