UK borrowing shows first annual fall since start of pandemic By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: British Pound Sterling banknotes are seen in a field on the Money Service Austria firm’s headquarters in Vienna, Austria, November 16, 2017.REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

By David Milliken and Andy Bruce

LONDON (Reuters) -Britain’s huge public borrowing began to go on a downward path in April for the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, official figures confirmed on Tuesday.

Public sector borrowing in April, the first month of the brand new monetary yr, totalled 31.7 billion kilos ($44.9 billion), down from 47.Three billion kilos a yr earlier when the federal government funds felt the best affect of the COVID pandemic.

Britain’s authorities has spent closely over the previous yr on well being measures to restrict the affect of COVID-19 in addition to wage ensures to cease unemployment rising considerably through the sharpest financial downturn in additional than 300 years.

Borrowing within the 2020/21 monetary yr was 300.Three billion kilos or 14.3% of annual financial output, the best share on this measure since the top of World War Two however barely decrease than an preliminary estimate a month in the past.

British authorities finances forecasters predicted in March that borrowing would fall to 10.3% of GDP this monetary yr.

“At the Budget, I set out the steps we are taking to keep the public finances on a sustainable footing by bringing debt under control over the medium term. But we also need to focus on driving a strong economy recovery from the pandemic,” finance minister Rishi Sunak mentioned after the info.

Public sector web debt as a share of GDP is its highest since 1962 at 98.5%, equal to 2.171 trillion kilos.

But not like earlier a long time, rates of interest are far decrease, lowering each debt servicing prices and the urgency of reducing debt ranges that earlier governments felt.

($1 = 0.7055 kilos)

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