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Category Archives: Public Finances

Government borrowing finishes year on target

Government borrowing in March, the final month of the financial year, came in at £18.2bn, according to the measure which ignores the temporary effects of financial interventions which include bank bail-outs. Many analysts thought the figure would have been lower, but it was offset by a revised figure for February borrowing which was slashed by £3bn. The Office for Budget … Continue reading

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UK to experience double-dip recession

In its latest Economic Outlook, the OECD forecasts that both the UK and the eurozone could see a double-dip recession over the next few months. The organisation has slashed its forecast for UK growth in 2012 to only 0.5%. It also believes that growth in the current quarter could be negative at -0.03% and in the first quarter of 2012 … Continue reading

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Highest August borrowing figure on record

UK Public Sector Net Borrowing (PSNB) in August was a surprise £15.9 billion. This was a rise of £1.9 billion on August last year and was the highest August total on record, and well above the market forecasts of just over £13 billion. So far this fiscal year, between April and August, total PSNB has totalled £51.5 billion. This is … Continue reading

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A neutral Budget with a few surprises

George Osborne, the chancellor, introduced his second Budget yesterday saying: “This is not a tax-raising Budget, nor can we afford a give-away.”  Basically, he was completely constrained by the emergency Budget last year and the October Spending Review. He was further handicapped by a downgrade in the forecasts for economic growth, coming from the Office for Budget Responsibility. Only five … Continue reading

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Improvement in public sector finances

Public sector net borrowing in January 2011, showed a surplus of £3.7 billion compared with a deficit of £1.3 billion in the same month last year. Traditionally the country does show a surplus during January as a result of a lot of income tax and corporation tax bills being paid, but these figures are a vast improvement on last year. … Continue reading

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Very positive forecasts from the OBR

The independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has just published its latest forecasts. It has raised its estimate for economic growth this year to 1.8%, from a previous figure of 1.2%. But, it believes that growth will be slightly slower over the next two years. It believes that there will be 2.1% growth next year, which is down from the … Continue reading

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Public sector finances still on track?

October’s public borrowing was worse than analysts had been expecting, but it is still possible that the government is on target to produce a budget deficit of £149bn, compared to £155bn in the previous financial year. The borrowing figure for October was £10.3bn, which was up from the £10.1bn of the previous year, but was the first time for five … Continue reading

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“We’re absolutely certain that nobody knows what’s going to happen.”

This could have been the headline from the Bank of England’s November Inflation Report that was published this morning. All in all, it was riddled with uncertainty. Mr King, the governor of the Bank, said that given the slower growth in government spending, the strength of any recovery depended heavily on what was happening externally. He said: “The biggest …. … Continue reading

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Where will the new jobs come from?

This is a question posed by Dr John Philpott, chief economic adviser to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). The reason he asks it is because he believes that: “The full impact of the coalition government’s planned fiscal tightening has been understated.” The government’s estimate is that nearly 500,000 jobs will be lost in the public sector over … Continue reading

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So where are we now?

The dust has started to settle after the draconian cuts put forward by the Chancellor, George Osborne, last week, as he put forward plans to cut government spending by £81 billion over the next four years. Was he right to make cuts of this magnitude? The UK borrowing figures last week might suggest that he was. The figures show that … Continue reading

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