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Complainant Name:
Mr Jonathan Portes

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: The Times


Mr Jonathan Portes, who is the Director General of the National Institute for Economic and Social Research, complained to the Press Complaints Commission about an article which he considered to have been inaccurate and misleading in breach of Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors' Code of Practice.

The newspaper's columnist had criticised the complainant for predicting that - because of government austerity - the British economy would shrink by 0.5%, which would result in a ‘triple dip recession'. According to the complainant, however, his forecast actually related to the third quarter of 2012 - before there was a ‘double dip recession' - and his organisation predicted ‘slight growth' at the beginning of 2013.


The complaint was resolved when the newspaper published the following correction:

Matthew Parris's article on economic forecasts stated that the National Institute of Economic and Social Research predicted, in February 2012, that ‘output was on course to fall by 0.5% (a triple dip recession)'. In fact, NIESR's February 2012 forecast was for output to fall by 0.1% in 2012 and to grow by 2.3% in 2013. NIESR's August 2012 forecast predicted output would fall by 0.5% in 2012, but grown by 1.3% in 2013. In neither forecast did NIESR predict a ‘triple dip recession'

Date Published: 07/10/2013

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