In the first seven months of the year, the Government borrowed £16.9 billion less than initially projected, raising expectations that the Chancellor might announce tax reductions in the upcoming Autumn Statement.
According to the Office for National Statistics, public sector net borrowing, excluding banks, reached £98.3 billion in the first seven months of the fiscal year. This amount is £21.9 billion higher than the same period last year but £16.9 billion below the £115.2 billion forecast made by the Office for Budget Responsibility in March.
The Office for Budget Responsibility is set to present updated borrowing figures during the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement on Wednesday.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has expressed his intention to present a statement focused on “boosting business investment” while being “responsible with the nation’s finances.”
Ruth Gregory, the deputy chief UK economist at Capital Economics, suggested that the latest data might make it hard for Mr. Hunt to avoid making a significant pre-election announcement.
However, for October, the total public sector net borrowing, excluding public sector banks, was £14.9 billion.
This figure is an increase from £14.3 billion the previous month and exceeds analysts’ predictions of £12.8 billion. It was also £4.4 billion more than the same month last year and marked the second-highest October borrowing since monthly records started in 1993.
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