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Thursday 04th of February 2010
November 19, 2009    

UK’s public sector borrowing reaches £11.4bn in October

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by Kay Murchie

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has today revealed that the UK’s public sector net borrowing rose by a higher than expected £11.4 billion in October.

According to the ONS, the figure was the highest for the month of October since it began gathering data 16 years ago, and takes public sector net borrowing for the financial year to date to £87 billion - compared with £34 billion in the same period a year ago.

Overall debt now stands at £829.7 billion - the equivalent of more than 59% of GDP. In May, credit rating agency, Standard and Poor’s, said the UK’s debt burden may reach 100% of GDP.

Public borrowing is already forecast by the Treasury to reach £175 billion this year but the figures could have to be revised upwards by the Chancellor, Alistair Darling, in next month’s pre-budget.

Traditionally, October is a strong month for corporation tax receipts, but these have been hit hard by the recession.

The recession has meant tax revenues have been hit, as well as a severe hike in unemployment benefits.

Official figures last week showed that unemployment had slowed in the three months to August to 2.46 million.

In other news today, the ONS revealed a rise in UK retail sales for the month of October.

Retail sales for the month were up 0.4% compared with September and rose by 3.4% compared with October 2008.

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