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The UK government hit its borrowing target in the last financial year, with the deficit standing at £107.7 billion.

This figure was £7.4 billion less than the previous year, with borrowing in March falling to £6.7 billion from £11.4 billion in March 2013.

Expert economists say that the figures in March were crucial for hitting the target. Howard Archer, chief economist at Global Insight, told the BBC:

“While in reality, it made little difference whether the chancellor just hit or just missed his fiscal target for 2013-14, the fact that he did make it provides a psychological boost for the government and it may support belief that he can hit his longer-term targets.

“Nevertheless, a deficit of £107.7bn in 2013-14 highlights the fact that here is still an awfully long way to go in getting the public finances into decent shape.”

The governments says it wants to eliminate the budget deficit entirely by 2017-18, but economists say that this will be a very difficult task.

David Kern, chief economist at the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

“Since the financial crisis, we have seen falls in oil and gas output and weaknesses in the financial sector. These structural changes have reduced the country’s ability to generate tax revenues, and future public spending must factor in these challenges.

“Although progress may be gradual, reducing our public sector debt is necessary, as it will help businesses drive the recovery, and create jobs and wealth.”

Image by Duncan Allan