Public finances record July surplus but overall borrowing up

22 Aug 17

UK public finances recorded their first surplus for the month of July since 2002, as the government brought in an extra £0.2bn, Office for National Statistics figures have shown.

The ONS numbers, published today, show a surplus of £0.184bn against expectations that the government would borrow around £1bn. It compares to a deficit of £0.308bn in July 2016.

Today’s bulletin noted that borrowing in July tends to be low compared with other months of the year due to the receipt of self-assessed income tax.

In July, receipts from self-assessed income tax increased by £0.8bn to £8bn compared with July 2016. This is the highest level of July self-assessed income tax receipts since records began in 1999.

However, the Office for Budget Responsibility is forecasting that public sector net borrowing will be £58.3bn during the current financial year, up from its expectation last year.

In the current year to date, public sector net borrowing increased by £1.9bn to £22.8bn compared with the same period last year, the ONS said.

Overall government debt stood at £1,758.3bn at the end of July 2017, equivalent to 87.5% of gross domestic product, an increase of £143.9bn or 4.5% as a ratio of GDP on July 2016.

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