Deflating The State

More

THE recession that swept around the world and through Britain last year may now be ending but, like a great storm, it has destroyed much in its wake. Jobs have been carried away, firms felled, fortunes lost. Even in a landscape littered with economic wreckage, Britain's public finances stand out for the battering they have taken.

Until this year the biggest post-war deficit was in the early 1990s, when borrowing peaked at almost 8% of GDP. In the mid-1970s, when Britain had to go cap-in-hand to the IMF for an emergency bail-out, the deficit reached 7% of GDP. Yet both these shortfalls, so alarming at the time, will be dwarfed by borrowing in 2009-10, projected by the Treasury in April to reach 12.4% of GDP. Even that forecast may prove on the low side, given the scale of borrowing in the first five months of the fiscal year.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Daniel Indiviglio was an associate editor at The Atlantic from 2009 through 2011. He is now the Washington, D.C.-based columnist for Reuters Breakingviews. He is also a 2011 Robert Novak Journalism Fellow through the Phillips Foundation. More

Indiviglio has also written for Forbes. Prior to becoming a journalist, he spent several years working as an investment banker and a consultant.
Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving Money?

The U.S. is particularly miserable at putting aside money for the future. Should we blame our paychecks or our psychology?


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.

Video

How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe

Video

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.

Video

I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Writers

Up
Down

More in Business

Just In