Mark Carney's first assured outing as Bank of England governor will not have lifted already depressed Labour spirits. The Bank now expects GDP to rise by 0.6% in the third quarter of this year, rising to 2.6% a year in two years.
In addition, unless employment grows suddenly, he said, he did not foresee any need to raise interest rates above their current 0.5% until 2016, after the election.
If Britain is suffering from the wrong kind of growth – a debt-fuelled housing boom – voters will not have to pay the price until after the election.
To make matters worse for Labour, YouGov polling this week for the first time suggested voters were now evenly split on whether the spending cuts were the right idea. Polling produces different results according to the precise question asked, but it shows a trend towards voters accepting that austerity was the right course for George Osborne to choose.
Even on the more sophisticated left blogs, economists are asking themselves whether austerity was right. (Their answer remains no.)
Osborne himself was jubilant this week, saying the shadow cabinet had not just intellectually but physically left the pitch, deserting the political battleground for the beaches.
Labour in its defence pointed out that Carney had said this remained the slowest recovery in output on record. But Ed Balls has long recognised that growth would return at some point before the election, even if some of his advisers may be privately startled by the ...