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The judgements and assumptions underpinning these forecasts are, as usual, attended by considerable uncertainty. There is, for example, uncertainty surrounding estimates of spare capacity and when, and by how much, inflation will respond to increased capacity pressure. Possible changes in fiscal and other government policy both here and abroad are further sources of uncertainty. Prospects for the global economy have improved, but some of the major challenges facing a number of our key trading partners have yet to be resolved, and the risk of slower global growth remains high, particularly over the medium term.

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