Tags: Britain | Economy | United Kingdom | George Osborne

UK Government Predicting Surplus by Decade's End

Thursday, 05 Dec 2013 12:20 PM

British finance minister George Osborne painted a brighter economic picture for the U.K. economy and even suggested that the country could be running a budget surplus by the end of the decade.

But Osborne cautioned Thursday in his annual Autumn Statement that the public coffers remain strained and that the country will have to wait longer to see the end of austerity. Osborne insisted that the government will "fix the roof while the sun is shining" even when the budget is expected to start turning a surplus by 2018-19.

Britain is doing better than most major economies but has more ground to make up following the 2008-9 recession when revised figures show that the U.K. economy shrank by 7.2 percent instead of the previous forecast of 6.3 percent.

Osborne said the British economy is expected to grow by 1.4 percent this year instead of the previous forecast in March of 0.6 percent. Next year, growth is forecast to be even stronger at 2.4 percent instead of 1.8 percent.

"Britain is currently growing faster than any other major advanced economy," Osborne said.

As a result of the improved economic backdrop, Osborne said the government will borrow less in the years to come and that the country's debt burden should start falling as a proportion of national income by 2016-17. Britain's debt is expected to peak at 80 percent of its annual gross domestic product the year before.

The British coalition government made the reduction in the deficit its priority on taking office in May 2010. Opponents have argued that its austerity medicine has held back the British economy over the past few years and that the current economic growth is over-reliant on a booming housing market.

While Osborne was delivering his statement, the Bank of England kept its main interest rate unchanged at the record low of 0.5 percent and refrained from injecting more money into the U.K. economy.

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British finance minister George Osborne painted a brighter economic picture for the U.K. economy and even suggested that the country could be running a budget surplus by the end of the decade.
Britain,Economy,United Kingdom,George Osborne
318
2013-20-05
Thursday, 05 Dec 2013 12:20 PM
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