UK public borrowing rises less than expected in July to £4.3bn

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UK public sector borrowing elevated by lower than anticipated in July, helped by larger tax revenues, in accordance with new statistics that elevate expectations the chancellor may have room for tax cuts forward of the subsequent common election.

Public sector web borrowing hit £4.3bn final month, £3.4bn greater than in July 2022, in accordance with knowledge printed by the Workplace for Nationwide Statistics on Tuesday.

Nevertheless, the determine was nicely under the £6bn forecast in March by the Workplace for Price range Duty, the UK fiscal watchdog, and decrease than the £5bn forecast by economists polled by Reuters.

The ONS reported that the federal government’s receipts elevated £3.4bn from the identical month final 12 months to £85.2bn final month, which was nicely above the OBR forecast.

This was boosted by tax receipts from revenue taxes, company tax and worth added tax, which all rose from July 2022, helped by a resilient labour market.

Within the first 4 months of the present fiscal 12 months, borrowing was £56.6bn. That was £13.7bn greater than in the identical four-month interval final 12 months, however lower than the £68bn forecast by the OBR.

July’s public funds figures “continued the current run of higher than anticipated information on the fiscal place”, mentioned Ruth Gregory, economist at Capital Economics.

The figures might be intently monitored to evaluate whether or not chancellor Jeremy Hunt has better fiscal headroom to chop taxes earlier than the subsequent common election.

Commenting on the information, Hunt mentioned: “As inflation slows, it’s important that we don’t alter our course and proceed to behave responsibly with the general public funds.”

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