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Record budget deficit undershoots March 2021 forecast

The initial estimate of government borrowing for the 2020-21 fiscal year of £303.1 billion is roughly double the previous record set at the height of the financial crisis in 2009-10 (£157.7 billion). But it is £24.3 billion below our March forecast on a like-for-like basis (and £51.5 billion below it including loan write-offs that are not yet recorded in outturn). The surprise relative to our forecast is largely due to spending on pandemic-related programmes coming in below our downwardly revised forecast. Receipts were only modestly stronger than anticipated.

borrowing chart for 2020-21

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