Good news for Mr Osborne, but with a health warning
The chancellor will find little to concern him in the latest forecast from the independent watchdog he created - and some important reasons to cheer, particularly in the labour market. But, as the Director of the Office of Budget Responsibility, Robert Chote is keen to stress he'd be mad to expect any of the forecasts in this report to turn out to be right.
As expected, the OBR has revised up this year's growth forecast, from 1.2% to 1.8%, but it does not think all of that growth is sustainable. The forecast for 2011 has been revised down, from 2.3% to 2.1%.
The biggest news is the big reduction in the job losses forecast in the public sector between now and 2014-15. The OBR now thinks the public-sector workforce will shrink by 330,000 over that period, not 490,000, though they expect another 80,000 to lose their jobs in the 2015-16.
Mr Osborne will be pleased by the very modest change in the borrowing forecasts, though the OBR expects tax revenues to be £2.4bn lower than forecast by 2015-16, and it now thinks that he will only save £9.6bn from the extra welfare cuts in the spending review, about £1bn less than he hoped.
Bad news for home-owners: the OBR thinks house prices will fall by 3.1% in 2011. Previously, it expected a small rise.
Update 1417: Robert Chote has just confirmed that the chancellor's spending review saved 130,000 jobs.
As I mentioned earlier, the forecast job losses in the public sector by 2014-15 have fallen by 160,000. Of that, around 30,000 is due to the OBR changing the way it makes the forecast, but the rest is down to Mr Osborne - notably the decision to cut welfare more, and departmental spending less.
As the report underscores, the news from the private part of the labour market has been even better in the past few months. In fact, the OBR is in the welcome position of finding that its forecast for the level of total UK employment in the middle of 2012 has already been met.
There has been a 350,000 increase in employment since the first quarter of 2010 - put it another way, around one fifth of the increase in employment the OBR expected by 2016 has happened in just the past six months.
On borrowing, Robert Chote says that the OBR now thinks there is a 70% chance that the government will meet its deficit target by 2014-15.
That's slightly better than in June, and better than the "more than 50% chance" that the fiscal mandate requires. But with so much of the report dedicated to the uncertainty surrounding all of the forecast, I don't expect the chancellor will be planning any spending sprees on the back of it.
Finally, it is interesting to note that it would be better for Mr Osborne if the economy did not re-balance, as we are all supposed to hope. The "rebalancing delayed" scenario in the report shows that a more consumption-led recovery would be good news for the public finances, with borrowing falling faster than expected. It might be good for the government's election chances as well, even if it was simply delaying the day of reckoning for household finances.
A new prayer for Mr Osborne could be "Lord, may Britain have more balanced growth, but please make it after the next election."