herochartsept19Mid-way through 2019-20, borrowing is up £7.2 billion on the same point last year, with strong growth in public spending outweighing more modest growth in receipts. Prospects for full-year borrowing will depend on the extent to which spending growth slows – as seems likely – and whether receipts growth is maintained – which depends in part on whether recent strength in average earnings growth continues.

28 Oct update: The ONS has identified an error in this data release that suggests year-to-date borrowing is up by between £5.7 billion and £6.2 billion on last year, rather than the £7.2 billion initially reported (17.1 to 18.6 per cent rather than 21.6 per cent). This reduces the extent to which borrowing appears to be running ahead of our March forecast.