The national debt figures are out – £1.2 trillion and rising – and although I hate to say it, the Labour Party has a valid point to make. If you don’t adjust for inflation, Osborne has borrowed more in under four years than the Labour Party borrowed over 13 years. It’s unusual for Ed Balls to talk about debt accumulation as a bad thing, perhaps because his policy remains the accumulation of even more debt. But here’s the story so far:-Screen Shot 2013-11-21 at 14.41.36

Labour is, as ever, spinning too much. As they know, you need to adjust for inflation to make any meaningful comparison in public spending. But the overall point holds.

Now, things are going pretty well for Osborne. Today , a CBI survey shows the strongest orders for manufacturing since 1995 (note from Citi here, graph below).Screen Shot 2013-11-21 at 14.44.41

But the debt pile – growing at more than £3,000 per second – will cast a long shadow over George Osborne’s Autumn Statement next month. Is this recovery real, or another debt-fuelled illusion? The annoying truth is that we just don’t know.

Tags: Debt, Ed Balls, George Osborne, Labour, public borrowing, Public finances, Public spending