An influential international organisation, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has warned that high debt ratios amid "persistently low growth" advanced economies "cast clouds on the global fiscal landscape".
In their October 2013 Fiscal Monitor update, the IMF warns that the average public debt ratio in advanced economies will hit a historic peak (of around 110 per cent of GDP, 25 percentage points higher than in 2007) in 2013-14.
As such, the IMF says that "strengthening fiscal balances and buttressing confidence thus remain at the top of the policy agenda".
Yet the IMF's forecasts for the UK have improved - as it now suggests that fiscal balances will be improved by 0.8 percentage points in 2013 from its last estimates (made in April). In 2014 fiscal balances are expected to be 0.6 percentage points better.