Strong receipts keep borrowing below profile

Borrowing in the first five months of 2023-24 totalled £69.6 billion, £19.3 billion above the same period last year but £11.3 billion below the monthly profile consistent with our March forecast. The downside surprise is more than explained by higher central government receipts (£12.6 billion above profile), reflecting stronger nominal tax bases. This was partly offset by higher central government spending which was £8.2 billion above profile partly reflecting higher-than-forecast public sector pay awards.

Line chart showing cumulative public sector net borrowing

Autumn 2023 forecast date

Our latest outlook for the economy and public finances will be published on Wednesday 22 November alongside the Autumn Statement 2023.


Key publications

Medium-term forecasts

Five year forecasts for the UK economy and public finances and an assessment of whether the Government is likely to achieve its fiscal targets.

Fiscal risks and long-term projections

Annual report into the main fiscal risks facing the UK and sustainability of the public finances. This new report is an amalgamation of the FSR and FRR.

Forecast evaluation

Report into how our forecasts compare to subsequent outturn data and identifying lessons for future forecasts.

Welfare spending trends

An in-depth look at the drivers of welfare spending both inside and outside the Government’s welfare cap.

Monthly commentary

Our monthly commentary on the latest public finances data and how it compares to our most recent forecast.

Welsh taxes

We are commissioned by the Welsh Government to produce independent forecasts for devolved Welsh taxes. We formally took on this role in April 2019.


300 years of UK public finance data

Luke Lanskey and Conor O’Loughnan | 20 July 2023

Our new historical public finances database contains 300 years of tax, spending, borrowing and debt data. This article tells the story of government borrowing and debt since 1700 and how the level and composition of tax and spending have evolved over this period.