Public sector net borrowing was £13.7 billion last month, down from £15.9 billion a year earlier. The current budget deficit was £10.8 billion, down from £13.3 billion in December 2010. Upward revisions to earlier data mean that cumulative borrowing for the first nine months of the fiscal year, £103.3 billion, was below the £114.6 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2010-11. So borrowing will be lower this year, but the difference will not be massive.
Will it undershoot the Office for Budget Responsibility's revised borrowing figure of £127 billion for the current fiscal year? I think so, and I thought the upward revision from £122 billion in November was unnecessary. But we'll see. The OBR's analysis, here, points out that borrowing will need to be £2.3 billion higher than a year earlier for the final three months for the target to be hit. It expects government spending to come in stronger and VAT and bonus-related taxes to be weaker.
The Office for National Statistics highlighted the fact that public sector net debt rose above £1 trillion for the first time.