Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Public sector debt tops 70% of GDP
Posted by David Smith at 12:00 PM
Category: Thoughts and responses

Today's public finance figures were marginally disappointing, with 15.4 billion of net borrowing in December compared with 14.8 billion a year earlier. The current budget deficit was 13 billion, up from 12.5 billion in December 2011.

The cumulative figures were helped by revisions to earlier data, though there's still an overshoot compared with 2011-12. The current budget deficit, for example, is running at 95.2 billion in the April-December period, up from 85 billion in the corresponding period of 2011-12. Adjusted public sector net borrowing was 108.8 billion, 9.5 billion up on 2011-12.

Though the gap is narrowing, it appears borrowing is heading for an overshoot, which will be an embarrassment for George Osborne and the Office for Budget Responsibility. The ONS release is here.

Today's release was notable for the fact that public sector net debt rose to 1,111.4 billion, 70.7% of gross domestic product. It thus rose above 70% of GDP, from 69.3% in November.