One of the most important political debates in the country right now - as it has been for the last few months, and as it probably will be for the next couple of years - is whether spending cuts and tax rises are going to precipitate a 'double-dip' recession. Expert economists and not-so-expert newspaper columnists are lining up on either side; politicians have staked out their ground, seemingly full of certainty, even passion. Who to believe?
Having consulted with professional economist friends, there's not much that you can robustly rely on in either the theoretical or the empirical research (that is, through looking at computer models or at history). You'll hear people bandying about terms like aggregate demand and referring to dates such as 1937. But the data, wherever it comes from, is inconclusive.
And this is unsurprising as the economic success of the budget fundamentally comes down to two things. Firstly, the world economy - if that goes down it's likely we will too, regardless of our fiscal policy.
The second factor is close to home (literally, in a sense): confidence, of businesses, individuals and markets. In an important respect, your answer is as good as anyone's as you are (if you're reading this in the UK) one of those individuals whose attitude will determine whether the budget ends up promoting economic growth.
So tell me - did the budget make you feel good about the future or bad?
The more people and businesses feel confident in spending and investing because they see government debt and the future tax burden coming under control, the more the budget will have been good for economic growth.
The more people and businesses feel too worried to spend and invest because they see immediate spending cuts and tax rises resulting in fewer jobs and less demand for goods and services, the more the budget will have been bad for economic growth.
Whether you feel good or bad about the future - and whether most people and businesses agree with you - will determine what happens next. And that's something economic models or a study of history cannot estimate with any certainty. There can be a very respectable difference of opinion on this. But it's difficult for even the best economists - and certainly newspaper columnists and politicians - to claim any special insights.