Public sector borrowing figures

Office for National Statistics (ONS) statistics for January showed a £3.74bn public sector net borrowing (PSNB) surplus, the largest since July 2008 (January 2010 recorded a deficit of £1.27bn).

According to the Treasury, the January surplus, combined with the moderation of public sector growth, puts the coalition on track to meet full-year forecasts set out in the emergency budget and keeps the government on track to hit its borrowing target of £148.5bn for the year to March 2011. Total public borrowing for the fiscal year to date currently stands at £113bn, £14.1bn lower than at the same point last year.

In a statement Treasury said it would carry on with deficit reduction: “It’s welcome that this January saw the first surplus for the public finances in two years, but it will take more than one month in surplus to deal with borrowing of almost £150bn for this financial year.” Comments from the profession struck a similarly cautious note. CIOT tax policy director John Whiting said: “It confirms the worst of the recession is over, but I think it says more about how bad January 2010 was. Back to prosperity? I don’t think so. How fast the recovery is, is perhaps a better question and what trajectory we’re on. We need February, March and April figures, after which we will also see the impact of the 20% VAT rate.” AccountingWEB member david5541 was more cynical, characterising the announcement as "a PR excercise by George Osborne". We await the Office of Budget Responsibility's predictions and official Treasury figures on 23 March and wonder whether the Chancellor might be tempted to undertake more growth stimulus measures
(Budget discussion group thread) with any spare cash he has to hand... What do you think?

 

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Borrowing

Nash Vermont | | Permalink

Those figures are still bad.

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