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 growth revised downwards for last year

UK gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 0.3% in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). This follows two previous estimates of – 0.2% for the quarter. This had the effect of reducing total growth in 2011 down to 0.7% from the 0.8% earlier estimate. In the last quarter of 2011 output of the … Continue reading

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UK Manufacturing grinds to a halt

Manufacturing has been driving our economic recovery, such as it is, and was expected to continue to do so. But, there is bad news. Although manufacturing output grew by 0.9% in January, it failed to grow at all in February. Alan Clarke, UK economist at BNP Paribas, was quoted as saying that the data was “bitterly disappointing”. The wider measure … 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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Big increase in government borrowing last month

Public sector net borrowing reached £11.8bn in February, which compares with £9.5bn borrowed in February 2010, according to the ONS. This was a record level for any February. The figure was far higher than economists had been forecasting and means that total public sector net borrowing is now at £123.5bn for the financial year to date, which is 9.6% down … Continue reading

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