Budget forecasts hinge on March borrowing figures

22 March 2005
The weather in March may be unpredictable, and so are public borrowing figures and spending levels - but Gordon Brown's Budget forecasts depend on this month to meet their target.

Figures for February disappointed financial experts, with public borrowing of £81 million, leaving the overall deficit for the 11 months of the financial year at £30.8 billion.

In last year's Budget chancellor Gordon Brown gave a target of £34.4 billion for the full month - so the figures hinge on March, a month in which it can rain or shine on tax revenues and spending levels.

"Whether the final total finishes up closer to last year's £36 billion or the chancellor's £34 billion will depend on the volatile month of March," Andrij Halushka of the Centre for Economics and Business Research told the Press Association.

The figures came shortly after Gordon Brown insisted he would meet his golden rule - borrowing only to invest on average over the economic cycle, which is expected to end in the first part of next year.

Click here to find the best credit card for you.
track© DeHavilland Information Services plc