ONS reports £1bn public sector surplus for July

19 Aug 16

The UK public sector received more in taxes and other income than it spent to record a surplus of £1bn in July, according to official figures released today.

The represents a drop in surplus of £0.2bn compared with the same month last year, according to the update from the Office for National Statistics. July is a month when firms pay corporation tax installments, often leading to surpluses.

In the release, the ONS cautioned that although this was the first post-EU referendum data release on the public sector finances, it contained a significant forecast element. Any post-referendum impact may not be clear for some time, it said.

Over the current financial year to date, April to July, the public sector has borrowed £23.7bn, £3bn less than the same four-month period in 2015.

Meanwhile, public sector debt stood at £1,604bn at the end of July, which is equivalent to 82.9% of the UK’s gross domestic product. This is an increase of £35.3bn compared with July 2015. In June this year, public sector net debt was £1,620bn, 84% of GDP.

Debt has therefore fallen as a percentage of GDP for the second successive month, and indicates GDP is increasing year-on-year faster than net debt.

These figures do not include public sector banks.

Over the current financial year-to-date, central government received £213.6bn in income. This is roughly 3% higher than for the same period in 2015, largely due to government receiving more income tax, corporation tax and national insurance contributions, as well as taxes on production such as VAT and stamp duty.

Meanwhile, central government spending over the current financial year has reached £233.8bn, which is roughly the same as the equivalent period in 2015.

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