Other news

Year to date borrowing continues to fall

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.

Substantial year-on-year improvements in the deficit continue

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…

Student loans and fiscal illusions

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.

Spending pressures threaten sustainability of the public finances

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

Book cover of Fiscal sustainability report

Spending pressures threaten sustainability of the public finances

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.

Borrowing continues to fall

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.

Senior appointments to the OBR

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.

Underspending pushes deficit lower

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.

OBR could incorporate Brexit agreement in a December forecast

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…

Provisional estimate shows 2017-18 borrowing lower than forecast

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.

Spring Statement 2018 – modest cyclical upgrade to economic and fiscal outlook

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.