Britain's public finances deteriorated less than feared during the first six months of 2012, but it looks like Chancellor George Osborne will still be forced to announce in his Autumn Statement that the Government will miss its target to bring down debt as a percentage of GDP by 2015 / 2016.
- Public sector debt was at £1.1 trillion at the end of September 2012, or 67.9% of GDP
- Public sector debt was at £972.5 billion at the end of September 2011, or 63.6% of GDP
Brian Hilliard, economist at Societe Generale, said the figures for September "will make life a bit easier" for the Government:
This is much, much better than they would have thought only a month ago. It's still an overshoot compared to the plans but it does make their life a bit easier.
More top news
Warmer with a mild, muggy night ahead
The headteacher of Saffie Rose Roussos's primary school has paid tribute to the little girl who was "beautiful in every sense of the word".
Ten people have died on the mountain so far this climbing season - four more than mountaineering officials expect in a typical year.