U.K. Budget Deficit Surges to Record High

Dec.21.10 | About: iShares MSCI (EWU)

Living in a country where the word “trillion” is used to talk about budget deficits, Fed balance sheets, and the national debt, it’s hard to get excited about the new record monthly budget deficit reached in the U.K. last month at about $35 billion (£23.3 billion).

But, they’re certainly getting excited about it over there as this report in The Telegraph details:

The figure, which excludes financial interventions by the Government, was a marked increase on the £17.4bn a year earlier and beat the previous highest monthly borrowing record of £21.1bn in December 2009, according to the official figures.

Total public borrowing for the year to date now stands at £104.4bn, the ONS said, creeping closer to the Government’s target of £149bn for the financial year.

Economists have warned the coalition is in danger of exceeding the target – and overshooting the Office for Budget Responsibility’s recently downgraded forecast of £148.5bn for the year.

The bigger-than-expected figure will be seen by Chancellor George Osborne as supporting the need for recent austerity measures, which include an £81bn package of spending cuts and a hike in VAT next year.

Economists were braced for a rise in the year-on-year level of public borrowing in November but none predicted a figure so high.

Even in the larger version of the image above at the Telegraph, it’s hard to tell with any certainty if there’s a horrified look on the faces of the family in what appears to be a rapidly rising debt balloon – if there’s not, there should be.

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