April’s public finances data provide an initial taste of the fiscal hit from the coronavirus lockdown and Government support for individuals and businesses. Tax payments received by HMRC were down 42 per cent on the same month last year, while central government spending jumped 52 per cent. As a result, the budget deficit was the largest in any single month and greater than our Budget forecast for the full year.

This commentary compares the May 2020 Public sector finances release to monthly profiles consistent with the coronavirus reference scenario that we published on 14 April.