UK public sector borrowing continued at record levels in October, as the government’s debt piled mounted further, according to data from the Office for National Statistics on Tuesday.
Public sector net borrowing, excluding public sector banks, reached £14.9 billion. This was 42% higher than the £10.5 billion in October 2022. It marks the second-highest level for October since records began in 1993, behind only the October of 2020 during the Covid pandemic.
In the UK fiscal year to date, borrowing stands at £98.3 billion, which is £21.9 billion higher than the same period of the prior year. However, it is £16.9 billion less than the Office for Budget Responsibility’s March forecast of £115.2 billion.
Central government borrowing rose by £11.2 billion annually to £22.7 billion, which was ahead of OBR forecasts of £4.1 billion. The central government saw £76.9 billion in receipts, which was up from £75.4 billion a year prior. However, it spent £99.6 billion, which was up by nearly £14 billion from the prior year, and higher than OBR forecasts of £94.1 billion.
At £2.644 trillion at the end of the month, the UK government’s total debt is estimated to be around 97.8% of the country’s annual gross domestic product – remaining at the highest levels seen since the early 1960s.
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