UK borrowing at lowest level since financial crisis

From BBC - February 21, 2018

UK borrowing for the year to date is at its lowest level since the financial crisis, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Public sector net borrowing, excluding state-owned banks, fell to 37.7bn between April and January, down 7.2bn on the comparable period.

It is the lowest figure for the period since January 2008, the ONS said.

It added that it is investigating the impact of Carillion's collapse on public sector finances.

At the Budget in November, the government's independent forecaster, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), forecast that public sector net borrowing would rise by 4.1bn to 49.9bn in the financial year to March 2018.

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John Hawksworth, chief economist at accountancy firm PwC, said it now "looks likely" that public borrowing will fall below last year's figure of 45.8bn and the OBR's expectations.

"This will be a welcome windfall for the chancellor," said Mr Hawksworth. "But we would expect him to bank it for now rather than spending it in his March Spring Statement, which looks set to be a low key affair.


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