Oct 19, 2018

Government borrowing in September lowest since 2007

Government borrowing fell by more than expected last month, to £4.1bn from £4.9bn a year earlier. It was the lowest borrowing figure for the month of September since 2007, the Office for National Statistics said. Borrowing for the year to date is 35% lower at £19.9bn, potentially giving Chancellor Philip Hammond room for manoeuvre in the upcoming Budget on 29 October. Economists had expected a September borrowing figure of £4.5bn. Public sector net debt, excluding public sector banks, now stands at £1,789.5bn, equivalent to 84.3% of GDP. That is £3.4bn higher than a year earlier, but lower as a percentage of GDP than in 2017, when it was 86.7%.Higher spending. Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said the improved public finances meant the chancellor could afford plans for higher spending on the NHS "Without raising other taxes or cutting spending in other departments more aggressively over the next couple of years".

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