UK public sector net borrowing in March was £21.5B, an increase of £16.3B over March 2022; debt at the end of March was £2.53T, or 99.6% of GDP: ONS

Sample article from our Housing & Economy

LONDON , April 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 net borrowing (PSNB ex) in March 2023 was £21.5 billion, £16.3 billion more than in March 2022, and the second-highest March borrowing since monthly records began in 1993.
  • PSNB ex in the financial year ending (FYE) March 2023 was initially estimated at £139.2 billion (or 5.5% of gross domestic product (GDP)), £18.1 billion more than in the FYE March 2022 and the fourth-highest FY borrowing since records began in 1946.
  • PSNB ex in the FYE March 2023 was £13.2 billion less than forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR); however, these are not final figures, and they will be revised over the coming months as we replace our initial estimates with provisional and then final outturn data.
  • Public sector current budget deficit (PSCB ex) in the FYE March 2023 was initially estimated at £87.4 billion (or 3.5 % of GDP), £15.8 billion more than in the FYE March 2022 and the sixth-highest FY budget deficit since records began in 1946.
  • Public sector net debt (PSND ex) at the end of March 2023 was £2,530.4 billion or around 99.6% of GDP, with the debt-to-GDP ratio at levels last seen in the early 1960s.
  • PSND ex excluding the Bank of England was £2,246.9 billion or around 88.5% of GDP, which was £283.5 billion lower than the wider measure.
  • Our estimate of UK public sector net worth (PSNW ex), published for the first time this month, was a deficit of £605.8 billion at the end of March 2023. 
  • Central government net cash requirement (excluding UK Asset Resolution Ltd and Network Rail) was £25.1 billion in March 2023, bringing the total for the FYE March 2023 to £111.3 billion, £4.1 billion less than forecast by OBR.

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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