Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Business
  2. Economics
21 February 2012updated 22 Oct 2020 3:55pm

Chart of the day: how big is the deficit?

Osborne is on track to better the OBR's forecast of £127bn.

By George Eaton

Above all else, George Osborne promised that he would reduce Britain’s record deficit. So, a month ahead of his third Budget as Chancellor, how’s he doing? Today’s borrowing figures suggest that Osborne is likely to better the Office for Budget Responsibility’s deficit forecast of £127bn for 2011-12 (see graph). Borrowing so far this year is £93.5bn, compared with £109.2bn in the same period last year.

A

But ever-worse growth forecasts (the National Institute of Economic and Social Research expects the economy to shrink by 0.1 per cent this year) suggest Osborne’s luck won’t last. And with unemployment heading towards three million and the economy on the brink of a double-dip recession, the Chancellor’s decision to prioritise deficit reduction above all else still looks like the wrong call. As Keynes once remarked, “look after unemployment and the Budget will look after itself”.

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU

Content from our partners
The truth about employability
Why we need a Minister for Citizen Experience
Powering careers that secure our net zero future