Borrowing in the first five months of 2023-24 totalled £69.6 billion, £19.3 billion above the same period last year but £11.3 billion below the monthly profile consistent with our March forecast. The downside surprise is more than explained by higher central government receipts (£12.6 billion above profile), reflecting stronger nominal tax bases. This was partly offset by higher central government spending which was £8.2 billion above profile partly reflecting higher-than-forecast public sector pay awards.