By Daniel Hunter

Official figures show that the government borrowed less than expected in August. This was helped by a fall in spending by government departments.

Public sector borrowing for the month was £13.2bn, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said, lower than the £14.4bn recorded in August 2012.

The UK's net public debt pile stands at £1.19 trillion, which is equivalent to 74.6% of GDP.

The government is aiming for a deficit of no more than £120bn this year.

Efforts to reduce UK borrowing and cut the country's debts are central to the government's economic policies.

But Chancellor George Osborne, who spoke at the Institute of Directors' Annual Conference on Wednesday, has faced criticism as the deficit reduction plan has stalled, thanks in part to weak economic growth.

"The improvement in economic growth seen in recent months will help to reduce the deficit further, but progress remains painfully slow," said David Kern, chief economist at the British Chambers of Commerce.

"Our ability to generate tax revenues will struggle to return to pre-recession levels, even when the pace of growth picks up. As a result, the government must continue to make cuts in current spending in order to reduce the deficit further."

Join us on
Follow @freshbusiness