UK public sector net borrowing estimated at £27.4B in December, up £16.7B from December 2021; public sector net debt was £2.50T at the end of December, or 99.5% of GDP: ONS

Sample article from our Housing & Economy

LONDON , January 25, 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 borrowing (PSNB ex) in December 2022 was £27.4 billion, the highest December figure since monthly records began in January 1993, largely because of a sharp rise in spending on energy support schemes and an increase in debt interest.
  • December’s borrowing was £16.7 billion higher than that of December 2021 and £9.8 billion higher than the latest official forecast published by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR); largely because of student loans assumptions made by the OBR (see Section 3).
  • Central government debt interest payable was £17.3 billion in December 2022, the highest December figure since monthly records began; the increase in interest payable is largely because of the effect of Retail Prices Index (RPI) changes on index-linked gilts.
  • In the financial year-to-December 2022, the public sector borrowed £128.1 billion, £5.1 billion more than that borrowed in the same period last year, but £2.7 billion less than forecast by the OBR.
  • Public sector debt (PSND ex) at the end of December 2022 was £2,503.6 billion or around 99.5% of gross domestic product (GDP), with the debt to GDP ratio at levels last seen in the early 1960s.
  • Public sector debt excluding the Bank of England was £2,215.4 billion or around 88.0% of GDP, £288.2 billion less than the wider measure.
  • Central government net cash requirement (excluding UK Asset Resolution Ltd and Network Rail) was £23.1 billion in December 2022, bringing the total for the financial year-to-December 2022 to £100.3 billion.
  • In the coming months, we plan to include an additional balance sheet aggregate, public sector net worth (PSNW), and present a newly formatted Public Sector Finance (PSF) release.

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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