HC Deb 16 December 1977 vol 941 c547W
Mr. Ridley

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what arrangements there are for discussing the Treasury's forecasting model with outside economists; and how many outside economists are regularly consulted.

Mr. Joel Barnett

(1)(i) Treasury economists working on the forecasting model meet once a month with a panel of outside economists for discussions on the model. The members of the panel come from Universities and forecasting institutions.

(ii) Formal links with other forecasting institutions in the United Kingdom and the USA have been established in recent years, through visits and secondment of Treasury economists. The object of these arrangements has been to exchange ideas and achieve improvements in the Treasury forecasting model.

(iii) The Treasury economists participate regularly in study groups and conferences. There will have been two conferences in 1977 with relevance to modelling.

(iv) Frequent informal discussions take place with outside economists from Universities and other forecasting institutes, in particular the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, the London Graduate Business School and the Department of Applied Economics of Cambridge. The Institute and the Business School arc collaborating with the Treasury on an exercise comparing the properties of their respective models.

(2) There are at present seven regular members of the panel mentioned above. Others are brought in from time to time. Consultations with other outside economists though frequent do not fall into any regular pattern.