A year ago, a rare July budget deficit strong (tax receipts normally lead to a surplus) was taken as firm evidence of George Osborne's strategy going way off track. In the event, that deficit was revised away and adjusted public borrowing in 2012-13 came in at £116.5 billion, slightly (£2 billion) lower that 2011-12.
The chancellor will be hoping history repeats itself. July saw a £0.5 billion deficit, compared with a surplus now estimated at £0.8 billion for July 2012. Borrowing for April-July is estimated at £36.8 billion, after all the adjustments, compared with £35.2 billion for the corresponding period a year earlier.
The Treasury emphasizes special factors in the data for the early months of the fiscal year, and that tax receipts are rising well. It will be hoping stronger growth leads to a better second half.