UK public sector net borrowing registered a surplus of £5.4B in January, down £7.1B from January 2022; public sector net debt was £2.49T at the end of January, or 98.9% of GDP: ONS

Sample article from our Government & Public Policy

LONDON , February 21, 2023 (press release) –

How the relationship between UK public sector monthly income and expenditure leads to changes in deficit and debt.

Main points

  • Public sector net borrowing (PSNB ex) in January 2023 was in surplus by £5.4 billion, which was a £7.1 billion smaller surplus than in January 2022 but a £5.0 billion larger surplus than forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).
  • Self-assessed income tax receipts were £21.9 billion in January 2023, which was the highest January figure since monthly records began in April 1999 and £5.5 billion or one-third higher than in January 2022.
  • January’s high annual self-assessed tax receipts were partly offset by substantial spending on energy support schemes and large one-off payments relating to historic customs duties owed to the EU.
  • Central government debt interest payable was £6.7 billion in January 2023, which was the highest January figure since monthly records began in April 1997; the recent increases are largely because of the effect of Retail Prices Index (RPI) changes on index-linked gilts.
  • In the financial year-to-January 2023, the public sector borrowed £116.9 billion, which was £7.0 billion more than in the same period last year but £30.6 billion less than forecast by the OBR (after temporary differences because of student loan estimates are taken into account – see Section 10: Measuring the data).
  • Public sector net debt (PSND ex) at the end of January 2023 was £2,492.1 billion, or around 98.9% of gross domestic product (GDP), with the debt-to-GDP ratio at levels last seen in the early 1960s.
  • Public sector net debt excluding the Bank of England was £2,198.7 billion, or around 87.2% of GDP, which was £293.4 billion less than the wider measure.
  • Central government net cash requirement (excluding UK Asset Resolution Ltd and Network Rail) was in surplus by £20.9 billion in January 2023, bringing the total net cash requirement for the financial year-to-January 2023 to £79.4 billion.

Industry Intelligence Editor's Note: This press release omits select charts and/or marketing language for editorial clarity. Click here to view the full report.

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