UK public sector net borrowing less than expected in Feb
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has today revealed the UK Government borrowed a further £12.4 billion in February.
However, while the figure represented the highest amount for February on record, it was less than economists had forecast.
Overall, debt stands at £857.75 billion – the equivalent to 60.3% of GDP, up from 50.5% a year ago.
For the financial year to date, the public sector current budget deficit stands at £94.7 billion, against £37.4 billion a year ago.
Meanwhile, the ONS said tax receipts rose by 3.6% in February – the largest rise in almost two years.
The rise was attributed to an improvement in economic activity and the reversal in the VAT reduction.
The Government has outlined plans to reduce the UK’s deficit from 12.1% of GDP in 2010-11 to 4.7% in 2014-15 – falling short of EU regulations.
Chancellor Alistair Darling has pledged to halve the budget deficit in percentage terms over the next four years and while he is facing pressure to cut the deficit more quickly, he argues that the economic recovery is still too fragile warned that cutting the deficit too quickly could pose a threat to the recovery.