- 3 updates
Britain's public finances deteriorated less than feared during the first six months of 2012, but it looks like Chancellor George Osborne will still be forced to announce in his Autumn Statement that the Government will miss its target to bring down debt as a percentage of GDP by 2015 / 2016.
- Public sector debt was at £1.1 trillion at the end of September 2012, or 67.9% of GDP
- Public sector debt was at £972.5 billion at the end of September 2011, or 63.6% of GDP
Brian Hilliard, economist at Societe Generale, said the figures for September "will make life a bit easier" for the Government:
A slight improvement in overall economic activity pushed tax receipts up by 3.7% to £42 billion in September, but this was mitigated by government spending rising 3.7% to £52.5 billion.
Taking away the impact of the one-off transfer of £28 billion of Royal Mail pension funds, public borrowing increased compared to last year.
- The cost of social benefits, including unemployment claims, rose 1.6%
- Public borrowing was at £65.1 billion, compared to £62.4 billion last year
Government borrowing fell last month according to official figures from the Office of National Statistics.
Public sector borrowing fell to £12.8 billion, compared with £13.5 billion from the same month last year. It is the lowest level of borrowing for a September since 2008.
The improvement was partly driven by a 4.5% fall in central government net investment to £2.4 billion.