Thursday, January 21, 2010
Public finances - a hint of improvement
Posted by David Smith at 10:00 AM
Category: Thoughts and responses

There's more than a hint in the latest data for the public finances that things are getting worse at a slower pace than feared, December's net borrowing of 15.7 billion was more than 3 billion below market expectations and only 2 billion worse than in December 2008. Cumulative borrowing so far in this fiscal year, 119.9 billion, compared with 63.6 billion in the corresponding period of 2008-9. A straight read-across would suggest a full-year outturn of between 160 and 170 billion, compared with the Treasury's 178 billion forecast. More here.

The Bank of England revealed a modest improvement in credit availability in its trends in lending report, here, but a disappointing 0.4% drop in M4 adjusted for securitisations in December. It suggested, however, that its own adjusted M4 series, to be published in early February, might be a little stronger.