Osborne says UK still faces ‘great economic challenges’

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Chancellor George Osborne says the UK still faces “great economic challenges” and has cautioned against getting carried away about the early stages of recovery, according toThe Telegraph .

Speaking yesterday following his arrival at the G20 summit in Russia, Osborne did acknowledge that there have been wider improvements in some areas of the global economy.

He said:  “This is first time the G20 has met in recent years where there is not a sense of crisis about the global economy, and indeed the performance of some advanced economies has been better than when leaders met last year and even when finance ministers last met in July.”

Osborne described the UK as being in the “early stages of the recovery” but argues that there are a still “great economic challenges” to overcome.

He said: “We are still in the early stages of recovery. We still have great economic challenges. I arrive at this summit as the finance minister with pretty much the highest budget deficit around the table, even though it has come down by a third.”

“So we have a long way to make up for what happened. We are still in the early stages of that journey.”

Despite improvements in recent economic data and increasing confidence, the UK economy could still prove fragile, added Osborne.

He said: “I don’t think anyone should get ahead of themselves: unemployment is too high, the deficit is still too high.

“Yes we have had better economic news and yes confidence is improving, but as we have seen many times events can overwhelm and shake that confidence.”