UK’s Public-Sector Borrowing Continues to Fall

The latest estimates for adjusted public sector net borrowing for 2012-13 suggest an out-turn of £115 billion, £3.5 billion lower than in 2011-12 and a far cry from estimates of £135-140 billion doing the rounds this time last year.

This year seems set to continue the trend. Borrowing in October was £8.1 billion, marginally lower than in October 2012 (the award of Royal Mail shares to employees actually added to borrowing this time) but the trend is downwards. Borrowing for the April-October period, adjusted for special factors, was £64.8 billion, down £5.8 billion on the corresponding period of 2012-13 (£70.6 billion). See Table 2 of the official release, whcih is here.

Stronger revenues are supporting the drop in borrowing. In April-October VAT receipts were up 5.8% on a year earlier, while income and capital gainst tax receipts were up 5.4%. The main weakness was in corporation tax receipts, down 2%. Current government spending over the same period was up by 2.1%.

Public sector net debt at the end of October was £1,207.2 billion, 74.5% of GDP.

This piece is cross-posted from with permission.