Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Britain's public finances on the slow road
Posted by David Smith at 09:45 AM
Category: Thoughts and responses

Public sector new borrowing (excluding financial interventions) was 17.4 billion last month, compared with 18.5 billion in May 2010. It is an improvement but a painfully slow one. Indeed in the first two months of the current fiscal year (April-May), borrowing was 27.4 billion, up from 25.9 billion a year earlier.

The current budget deficit, 15.3 billion, also showed a small improvement on May 2010's 16.5 billion. But April-May (24 billion) was also marginally worse than April-May 2010 (22.3 billion). Public sector net debt rose to 60.6% of GDP, on the narrow definition.

Two months is too early to call a trend but there's work to be done to get down to the Office for Budget Responsibility forecast of a 122 billion net borrowing number for 2011-12, from an upward revised 143 billion for 2010-11. More here.