Category Archive: Monthly public finances release

Line chart showing cumulative public sector net borrowing

Budget deficit continues to rise sharply

The pace of government borrowing picked up further in December to reach £34.1 billion, the highest monthly total since May. Year-to-date borrowing now stands at £270.8 billion, far exceeding the pre-virus annual record set at the peak of the financial crisis (£158 billion). The reimposition of a national lockdown in early January means prospects for the…

Line chart showing cumulative public sector net borrowing

Budget deficit continues to rise very sharply

The pace of government borrowing picked up again in November to reach £32 billion, the highest monthly total since May. Year-to-date borrowing now stands at £241 billion, far exceeding the pre-virus annual record set at the peak of the financial crisis (£158 billion). With a sharp resurgence in virus cases and the introduction of further health…

Line chart showing cumulative public sector net borrowing

Budget deficit tops £200 billion in six months

Halfway through the 2020-21 fiscal year, cumulative borrowing has reached £208 billion, £51 billion above full-year borrowing in 2009-10 (at the peak of the financial crisis). Year-to-date borrowing is still lower than assumed in the central scenario from our Fiscal sustainability report, as both GDP and tax receipts have fared better than assumed. But with a…

Line chart showing cumulative public sector net borrowing

Budget deficit reaches £174 billion in just five months

Less than halfway through the 2020-21 fiscal year, the budget deficit has already topped full-year borrowing in 2009-10 (at the peak of the financial crisis). Despite that, year-to-date borrowing is lower than assumed in the central scenario from our Fiscal sustainability report, as both GDP and tax receipts have fared less badly than assumed. With…

Line chart showing cumulative public sector net borrowing

Public sector net debt hits £2 trillion for the first time

The budget deficit rose sharply again in July, topping £150 billion for the year-to-date and pushing public sector net debt over £2 trillion for the first time. But year-to-date borrowing is lower than in our Fiscal sustainability report central scenario. That reflects lower departmental spending and loan guarantee write-off costs that have yet to be…

Line chart showing cumulative public sector net borrowing

Budget deficit reaches £128 billion in just three months

The budget deficit continues to rise sharply. Three months into the 2020-21 fiscal year, tax payments received by HMRC are down by 35 per cent on last year, while central government spending is up 40 per cent. But year-to-date borrowing is lower than assumed in the central scenario from our Fiscal sustainability report. That reflects…

Line chart showing cumulative public sector net borrowing

Budget deficit tops £100 billion in just two months

May’s public finances data continue to show the budget deficit rising sharply. Two months into 2020-21, tax payments received by HMRC are down 43 per cent on the same period last year, while central government spending is up 48 per cent. Relative to our April scenario, initial estimates of both GDP and tax receipts have…

Line chart showing cumulative public sector net borrowing

Budget deficit leaps to £62 billion in April 2020 alone

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…

Line chart showing cumulative public sector net borrowing

March HMRC cash receipts fall 5 per cent on last year

Some initial effects of the unfolding coronavirus shock to the public finances are visible in the March cash data. Receipts fell sharply – particularly VAT, where payments have been deferred. Spending increased, in part due to the cost of business support measures. These effects have yet to feed through to the headline accruals measure of…

January surplus down on a year earlier

Very strong spending growth outweighed strong receipts growth this month, leaving the usual January surplus smaller than it was a year ago. But, over the first ten months of 2019-20, borrowing continues to rise relative to the same period year, albeit at a slower pace than is implied by our latest full-year forecast.