Public sector net borrowing fell to £15.1 billion in March, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.
This was down £1.6 billion from March 2012 when net borrowing stood at £16.7 billion.
The Office of National Statistics has released figures that give a snapshot of family life in the UK. The statistics showed that in 2012:
- There were 7.7 million families with dependent children in the UK, 1 in 7 of which had three or more dependent children.
- Married couples had a higher average number of dependent children in their family than other family types, at 1.8 children per family compared with 1.7 on average.
- The UK has a higher percentage of households with three or more children than three-quarters of European Union countries.
- Nearly 9 in 10 couple families with three or more dependent children had either one or both parents working.
Today's figures confirm our fears that economic stagnation has finally caught up with the jobs market.
Young people are bearing the brunt of our jobs crisis, with the number of unemployed youngsters up 48,000 and approaching a million again.
The news for those in work is not much better, with the gap between wages and the rising cost of living getting even wider.
We won't see a proper recovery in the jobs market until we get growth back into the economy. That's why the Chancellor must change course and prioritise jobs, growth and living standards in his Budget today.
Unemployment increased by 7,000 between November and January to 2.52 million. The ONS figures also show the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance last month fell by 1,500 to 1.54 million.
The average earnings of UK workers have been falling in real terms for the last three years and are now at 2003 levels, a new article from the Office for National Statistics has shown.
After three decades of strong growth, real wages peaked in 2009 at £12.25. Since then inflation has outstripped wage increases, leading to real wages of £11.92 in 2010 and £11.41 in 2011.
This means that real wages have dropped by almost 3% between 2010 and 2012.
House prices in the UK increased by 3.3% over a 12 month period up until December 2012, according to new figures released today by the Office for National Statistics.
The rise in property prices is up 2.2% from a 12 month window through to November last year.
House prices rose throughout most of the UK in 2012, but prices in Northern Ireland continued to fall.
The year-on-year housing price increase reflected growth of 3.4% in England, 2.4% in Wales and 3.1% in Scotland, which were offset by a decline of 5.7% in Northern Ireland.
Britain's spending habits vary dramtically with Londoners splashing out the most for restaurants while Northern Ireland leads the way with alcohol.
The survey by the Office For National Statistics gives a snapshot of life across the UK by comparing average weekly household expenditure between 2009 and 2011.
- Food and non-alcoholic drink: London and Northern Ireland, £57.90
- Alcoholic drink, tobacco: Northern Ireland, £16.50
- Health: South East, £8.50
- Transport: South East, £74.80
- Restaurants & hotels: London, £53.30
- Food and non-alcoholic drink: North East, £45.70
- Alcoholic drink, tobacco: London, £10.10
- Health: Wales, £3.10
- Transport: North East, £50.10
- Restaurants & hotels: Wales, £31.80
The Office for National Statistics said the UK has recovered only half of the fall in GDP seen since the start of the 2008 recession, with output still 3.3% lower than its pre-recession level.
Crime came down sharply last year - but there has been controversy over exactly how much it fell.
Figures show police-recorded crimes dropped by almost a third over the last five years, but as ITV News UK Editor Lucy Manning reports, it is thought that up to 400,000 cases went unrecorded:
Analysis from the Office for National Statistics suggests there is a discrepancy between police records of crimes and the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW).
The CSEW works by "asking people whether they have experienced any crime in the past year," whereas police records are based on officers recording offences in their patch.
The differences between these methods may give rise to discrepancies, although the exact reason why police records appear to overstate crime reduction is a matter of controversy.