Page last updated at 16:09 GMT, Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Budget 2010: The economic challenge in graphics

Alistair Darling

By Edwin Lane
Economics reporter, BBC News

Chancellor Alistair Darling defended the government's handling of the economic crisis and its role in the recovery from recession in Wednesday's Budget.

THE UK ECONOMY IN GRAPHICS

But that did not stop him from revising down his growth expectations for 2011, underlining the fragility of the economic recovery , which only saw the UK emerge from recession with a growth rate of 0.3% in the last three months of 2009.

Mr Darling also took the credit for the recent falls in unemployment , arguing that it had been government action that had prevented jobless levels from reaching the heights of the recessions in the 80s and 90s.

But the economic headline of the budget was the news that government borrowing this year would be less than previously forecast, totalling £167bn.

However, little extra detail was given on cuts to public spending , with the government prepared to wait until the autumn for a spending review, should it be re-elected.

budget deficit



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