Despite rising in August, borrowing in the first five months of 2018-19 was almost a third lower than in the same period last year. On a like-for-like basis receipts growth has so far outpaced our full-year March forecast, while debt interest spending is already down £2.2 billion on last year.
With a £2 billion surplus recorded in July, the deficit in the first four months of 2018-19 is down 40 per cent on a year earlier – a larger fall than implied by our full-year forecast from March. But much of the data remain highly provisional, so it is too soon to draw firm conclusions…
Robert Chote distils the key messages from our latest Fiscal sustainability report – published today – in his press conference presentation and accompanying speaking note.
HM Treasury are legally committed to respond to our Fiscal risks report as outlined in the Charter for Budget Responsibility. On 17 July, the Treasury published their response in Managing Fiscal Risks.
A new working paper looks at alternative ways of accounting for the fiscal implications of student loans and whether alternative treatments can help us to analyse their impact on fiscal sustainability more effectively.
Our latest long-term projections again show that the ageing population and healthcare cost pressures threaten the sustainability of the public finances. The outlook is worse than last year, thanks largely to the Government’s as-yet unfunded announcement of extra health spending last month. Read the 2018 Fiscal sustainability report
The Treasury Select Committee has approved the appointment of Andy King, currently OBR Chief of Staff, to join the Budget Responsibility Committee.
Borrowing in May was down on last year, although this reflects spending data that are still very provisional. Borrowing for 2017-18 was revised down further, but again full outturns will not be available until at least September.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer has nominated Andy King to join the OBR’s Budget Responsibility Committee (BRC) and Bronwyn Curtis OBE to join the OBR’s oversight board as a non-executive member.
Last year’s budget deficit has been revised £2 billion lower to £40.5 billion, with departments thought to have undershot their spending limits by more than originally estimated. But the figures are still liable to significant further revision.
At the request of the Treasury Committee, the OBR has confirmed that it should be able to incorporate an October EU exit agreement in an early December Budget forecast, updating its existing Brexit assumptions as necessary. But it is not clear how firm or detailed the agreement will be and important policy questions are bound…
Public sector net borrowing in 2017-18 is provisionally estimated at £42.6 billion, £2.5 billion lower than we forecast at the Spring Statement in March. Lower-than-expected local authority borrowing more than explains that difference, but firm outturn data on that will not be available before September.
Robert Chote distils the key messages from our latest Economic and fiscal outlook – published today – in his press conference presentation and accompanying speaking note.
We have revised GDP growth up a little in the near term thanks to a stronger world economy, but the medium-term outlook is little changed. And we have revised borrowing down thanks to stronger receipts, but the improvement is largely cyclical. So headroom against the Government’s fiscal targets is virtually unchanged from the autumn.