By Jonathan Davies

The UK will still be running a deficit in 2020, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

In its latest forecast, the organisation says the UK will have a £7 billion deficit in 2019/20, which contrasts the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR)'s forecast of a £7bn surplus by that time, delivered by the Chancellor George Osborne in his Budget Statement.

The news is likely to come as a blow to the Conservatives, who are championing eliminating the deficit as a key election pledge.

The IMF's forecast is based on its assumption that there will not be a single-party, majority government after the general election. That, the IMF says, will mean a reduction on the Tories' planned spending cuts and it would fall short of the £7bn surplus target for 2019/20.

But IMF also suggested that the OBR was being over optimistic in its forecasts, claiming growth and tax revenues would not be as high as hoped.