By Daniel Hunter

Official figures released today (Tuesday) have shown that the UK government borrowed more than expected in March.

However, despite this, the government still met its borrowing target for the year, data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed.

Public sector net borrowing, excluding interventions such as bank bail-outs, came in at £18.2bn in March.

With February's figures being revised down it meant the government me their target for the year, £126 billion.

“The public sector finance figures are some two billion pounds higher than expected by most analysts. However, since the overall borrowing figures were revised down slightly, borrowing for 2011/12 was £126bn, as predicted by the OBR at the Budget," David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said.

“Eliminating the country’s structural deficit presents huge difficulties to the UK economy. Significant progress has been made, however, and we believe the deficit reduction plan is achievable. Over the past two years, borrowing has been cut by almost 3% of GDP.

"Persevering with Plan A is vital, but so too is boosting private sector growth. The government can do this by reallocating priorities in the current spending envelope towards measures that will support business, for example cutting regulation and providing more support for exporters. More must be done to empower the private sector firms to drive recovery, create jobs, invest and export.”

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