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This statement is every bit as gloomy as forecast. And as predicted, some of the worst news has come not from the Treasury but from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), in its new, gloomier estimate of the amount of spare capacity in the economy, and the scope for faster growth in the next few years. Here's the shocker: previously the OBR thought Britain's potential output would grow by 2.35% in 2012 and 2013. It now thinks potential output will grow by just 1.2% in 2012, and by 2% in 2013.