Osborne highlighted the parallels between the general economy and the One Commercial Street site above Aldgate East station.
He said: “Today I want to talk to you about this Government’s plan for economic recovery.
“Now, you’re probably thinking that a construction site is a strange place to make a speech.
“But I’ve invited you here for a reason.
“This development – One Commercial Street – began in 2007.
“The plan was to turn this building into 21 floors of office space, private apartments and affordable housing.
“Construction began; and continued at a pace. Until in 2008 the work simply stopped.
“Investors pulled out. Jobs were lost. And the site lay silent for three years.
“But last year, something exciting happened. Construction began again.
“Today, 230 people are working here at One Commercial Street to complete the development – and it will open its doors next year.
“I’ve brought you here because this building is a physical reminder of what our economy has been through in the last six years.”
Redrow and main contractor Sisk are now completing the building after the work was halted by original developer the Foundation Group.
Osborne said there are now “tentative signs of a balanced, broad based and sustainable recovery” in the general economy.
He added: “This building illustrates the story of our economy.
“The structure is built. The walls have gone up.
“So too with our economic plan. We have laid the foundations. We have built on top of them. But we cannot stop now.
“We have got to finish the job. And we will.”