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Calculators at dawn

Economists are famous for not agreeing on anything, so when facts prove them right, a bit of crowing is allowed.

The latest edition of Tony Mackay's useful monthly Scottish Economy report points out his forecast that Scottish GDP would increase by +1.5%, seems to have proved accurate, adding: "Our optimistic forecast was ridiculed by some, notably the Fraser of Allander Institute (FAI), which predicted very little growth."

Professor Brian Ashcroft of the FAI responded: "I'm not sure what he is talking about. I certainly have never ridiculed anybody's forecast. Nor do I believe anyone else in the FAI did."

But Mackay claims to have heard three separate reports of an FAI economist dissing his forecasts: "They have done that quite often over the last few years."

And he said that the FAI is generally pessimistic in its forecasts for the Scottish economy, adding: "Brian is clearly very pro-Labour, which is why their recent forecasts have been so pessimistic. Their last Quarterly Economic Commentary might have been guest edited by Ed Balls."

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