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UK public finances improve less than expected in January

Staff writer |
Government finances improved at the start of the year, buoyed by the typical January rise in tax receipts, albeit by slightly less than economists expected.

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Public sector net borrowing for the financial year-to date, excluding public sector banks, fell by £10.6bn to £66.5bn in the current financial year-to-date, according to the Office for National Statistics. The financial year runs from April 2015 to April 2016.

In January, public sector net borrowing excluding public sector banks was in a surplus to the tune of £11.2bn; that was £1.0bn more than a year ago and the most for that month since 2008.

Nonetheless, that was a tad lower than the -£12.5bn economists had anticipated.

Britain's net debt, excluding the public sector lenders, was left standing at £1,581.6bn, equivalent to 82.8% of gross domestic product; which was an increase of £52.7bn when compared with January 2015. At this time last year net debt stood at 82.9% of GDP.

The so-called central government net cash requirement decreased by £19.7bn to £41.6bn in the current financial year-to-date compared with the same period in the previous financial year.

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