Public sector borrowing down to £12.8bn in September
By Richard Johnstone | 19 October 2012
Public sector net borrowing in September was £12.8bn, down £700m compared to the same month last year, the Office for National Statistics has revealed today.
The fall is due to reduced borrowing by local government, which is also down £700m compared to September 2011. Central government borrowing is up by £300m compared to a year ago, while borrowing by public corporations is down by the same amount.
Total borrowing for the first six months of 2012/13, excluding the transfer of the Royal Mail pension fund assets to government, has today been revised down by the ONS by £6.7bn. It now stands at £65.1bn, up £2.7bn from the amount borrowed for the same six-month period in 2011/12.
The Office for Budget Responsibility said this was due to a £3.6bn reduction in estimates of central government spending, plus corrections to public corporation spending data that reduced their borrowing by £3.1bn.
Responding to the figures, the OBR said that the central government current expenditure growth of 2.1% for the first half of 2012/13 was below the financial watchdog’s full year forecast of 3%. However, growth in central government receipts of 0.8% in the first six months was well below its projection of 3.7% growth.
Its update stated that ‘there continues to be significant uncertainty around the prospects for full year borrowing’, which it has predicted will total £119.9bn.
It added: ‘Central government expenditure growth is currently below the forecast but this view will keep changing as more outturn data becomes available. Local government and public corporations data are similarly liable to revision.’
The ONS’s Public Sector Finances statistical bulletin also revealed that the latest estimate for public sector net borrowing in 2011/12 is £121.6bn, lower than the £125bn first reported. The OBR forecast for the year was £126bn.