George Osborne has hit back at fears the UK’s economic recovery is based solely on a boom in consumer spending.
The chancellor said exports and investment were also picking up – but there was still work to be done to create a more “balanced” economy.
He delivered an upbeat Autumn Statement on Thursday, claiming critics of his austerity plan had been proved wrong.
But Labour accused him of complacency amid claims from a leading think tank that Britain is still in a “big hole”.
In its verdict on Mr Osborne’s plan to get Britain back in the black by 2018, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said higher growth forecasts “hide some more disappointing news for the chancellor”.
And some of Mr Osborne’s spending promises, such as free school meals, are unfunded after 2015, it added.