Gordon Brown signalled Britain would not announce a big fiscal stimulus in next month’s Budget, as the failure of a gilts auction yesterday underscored concerns about the impact of further borrowing on the deteriorating public finances.

The prime minister has consistently called for next week’s G20 summit to back a concerted global fiscal stimulus – as demanded by US President Barack Obama – but he has been boxed in at home by dire public finances.

He appeared yesterday to respond to pressure from Alistair Darling, chancellor, and Mervyn King, Bank of England governor, in conceding there was little room for a big second wave of tax cuts or spending increases.

Financial Times