• Public sector borrowing in November 2011 was £18.1bn compared with £20.4bn in November 2010

Commenting on the public sector finance figures for November, published today by the ONS, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“These figures show that the UK’s overall fiscal position in the first eight months of the current financial year was better than many were expecting. In the face of weak growth, the deficit so far this year is more than £10bn lower than at the same time last year. There is every chance that the outcome for the full financial year will be lower than the OBR predicted in its recent forecast.

“Given the difficult economic situation, both in the UK and internationally, we believe the Chancellor’s fiscal strategy is still broadly on course, and the government should continue to reduce the structural deficit. Given the problems in the eurozone, and the recent increase in UK unemployment, it is important to reallocate priorities within the overall fiscal plan. This will help businesses create jobs, export and invest.

“While we expect the MPC to increase its QE programme early in the New Year, we urge the government to introduce significant policies to support growth. This would include a more aggressive reduction in red tape and the earliest possible introduction of credit-easing measures to improve the flow of lending to viable businesses.”