UK public sector borrowing rose by more than expected in the full financial year, highlighting just one of the challenges that the nation faces as it prepares to relinquish its membership of the European Union later this year.
Borrowing in the latest full financial year was 24 billion pounds ($30.4 billion), according to data published by the Office for National Statistics on Friday. This was 17.8 billion pounds less than in the same period the previous year and 1.2 billion pounds more than the forecast made by the Office for Budget Responsibility in March.
In its economic and fiscal outlook, the Office for Budget Responsibility had said that it expected public sector net borrowing to come in at 22.8 billion pounds in the full financial year, which would have been 1.1% of Britain’s gross domestic product. Its projection had been based on its expectation of the impact of higher income tax receipts and lower debt interest spending.
Public sector net borrowing was 5.1 billion pounds in May, one billion pounds more than the level registered a year earlier. In the current financial year-to-date of just April to May, it was 11.9 billion pounds, 1.8 billion pounds more than in the same period last year.
Debt at the end of May was 1,806.1 billion pounds, or 82.9% of gross domestic product, an increase of 25 billion from a year earlier.
Britain was scheduled to depart the European Union at the end of March. This date was extended by six months, however, after the nation’s members of parliament repeatedly voted down a withdrawal deal negotiated by Theresa May, prompting her resignation as British prime minister and the upcoming appointment of a new leader.
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