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Welfare trends report – March 2021

This year’s Welfare trends report (WTR) comes at the end of an extraordinary year that has resulted in the highest peacetime deficit in UK history. Virus-related support measures dominate that rise, but welfare spending (as defined in UK statistics, so not including the CJRS and SEISS) has also risen by £20.1 billion or 1.6 per…

cumulative public sector net borrowing

Record budget deficit could undershoot our latest forecast

Government borrowing remained high in February at £19.1 billion. With one month of the fiscal year remaining, borrowing has reached £278.8 billion. That far exceeds the previous annual record set at the height of the financial crisis in 2009-10 (£157.7 billion). But it looks set to undershoot our latest estimate for borrowing in 2020-21 (on…

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Supplementary forecast information release

Since the publication of our March 2021 Economic and fiscal outlook we have received a number of requests for further detail on our corporation tax, fuel duty, CJRS and EU financial settlement forecasts. We have published this new supplementary forecast information below and on the March 2021 EFO page.

Policy costings document March 2021

March 2021 All policy costings presented to the Office for Budget Responsibility at Budget 2021 were scrutinised and were certified as reasonable, central estimates were included in our forecasts. The Government’s Budget 2021 policy costings document briefly describes the methodologies underpinning these costings. In our March 2021 Economic and fiscal outlook we have published an…

Cumulative public sector net borrowing

Sharp rise in budget deficit is slower than expected

Government borrowing continued to rise in January, with monthly borrowing of £8.8 billion, despite a better-than-expected £24 billion of tax payments being made through self-assessment. Year-to-date borrowing has reached £271 billion, far exceeding the pre-virus annual record set at the height of the financial crisis in 2009-10 (£158 billion). We will publish our latest estimate…

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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…

Real GDP outtruns and forecasts

Forecast evaluation report 2021

Next year’s Forecast evaluation report will look back at what will probably be the largest official economic forecast errors ever, reflecting the full effect of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy and public finances in 2020-21. In this year’s brief report, we look back at our March 2018 and March 2019 forecasts for 2019-20. Both…

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…

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Monthly profiling update published 22 December

On 22 December alongside the monthly public sector finances commentary, we will publish an update of our monthly profiles consistent with our November 2020 forecast to provide a reference point against which to monitor incoming data. The monthly profiles will be published on the coronavirus analysis page.

Real GDP: central forecast and alternative scenarios

Overview of the November 2020 Economic and fiscal outlook

1.1 The coronavirus pandemic has delivered the largest peacetime shock to the global economy on record. It has required the imposition of severe restrictions on economic and social life; driven unprecedented falls in national income; fuelled rises in public deficits and debt surpassed only in wartime; and created considerable uncertainty about the future. The UK…