Thursday, November 21, 2013
Public borrowing continues to fall
Posted by David Smith at 10:00 AM
Category: Thoughts and responses

The latest estimates for adjusted public sector net borrowing for 2012-13 suggest an outturn of 115 billion, 3.5 billion lower than in 2011-12 and a far cry from estimates of 135-140 billion doing the rounds this time last year.

This year seems set to continue the trend. Borrowing in October was 8.1 billion, marginally lower than in October 2012 (the award of Royal Mail shares to employees actually added to borrowing this time) but the trend is downwards. Borrowing for the April-October period, adjusted for special factors, was 64.8 billion, down 5.8 billion on the corresponding period of 2012-13 (70.6 billion). See Table 2 of the official release, whcih is here.

Stronger revenues are supporting the drop in borrowing. In April-October VAT receipts were up 5.8% on a year earlier, while income and capital gainst tax receipts were up 5.4%. The main weakness was in corporation tax receipts, down 2%. Current government spending over the same period was up by 2.1%.

Public sector net debt at the end of October was 1,207.2 billion, 74.5% of GDP.