UK public sector borrowing is US$23.8B in May, down from $17.4B a year ago

The Associated Press ~ staff The News
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LONDON — The British government’s borrowing eased in May but the nation’s debt still rose above 900 billion pounds (US$1.33 trillion), an official report said Friday.

Borrowing dropped from 17.4 billion pounds in May last year to 16 billion pounds last month, the Office for National Statistics said. The agency also revised the April borrowing figure down by 1.6 billion pounds to 24.3 billion pounds.

May’s borrowing pushed the public sector debt up to 903 billion pounds, or 62 per cent of GDP, the agency said.

The new Office for Budget Responsibility has forecast that borrowing will total 155 billion pounds in the current year.

“The big picture of course is that borrowing remains extremely high and additional measures to reduce the deficit will be required in next week’s budget,” said Vicky Redwood, economist at Capital Economics.

Treasury chief George Osborne plans to reveal his tax and spending plans on Tuesday in an “emergency budget.”

Prime Minister David Cameron’s coalition government which took office in May has already announced spending cuts of 6.2 billion pounds and on Friday cancelled another 2 billion pounds worth of capital spending.

Organizations: Office for National Statistics, Office for Budget Responsibility, Capital Economics

Geographic location: UK, LONDON

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