British public debt tops two trillion pounds for first time

imageEconomy24 minutes ago (Aug 21, 2020 03:00AM ET)

2/2

(C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak visits Peak Scientific, a Scottish manufacturer of gas generators for analytical laboratories in Glasgow

2/2

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s public debt went above 2 trillion pounds ($2.65 trillion) for the first time in July as the government ramped up public spending to cope with the coronavirus pandemic and tax revenues fell, official data showed on Friday.

Net debt, excluding public banks, rose to 2.004 trillion pounds ($2.66 trillion), up by nearly 230 billion pounds from July 2019 and equivalent to 100.5% of Britain’s economic output, its highest since 1961.

Borrowing in the April-July period, the first four months of the financial year, surged to 150.5 billion pounds, almost three times borrowing by the government during the previous financial year as a whole, the Office for National Statistics said.

In July alone, borrowing excluding public sector banks was 26.7 billion pounds, slightly less than the median forecast in a Reuters poll of economists. But in July last year, the budget was in surplus by about 1.6 billion pounds, boosted by receipts of income tax which typically fall in the month.

“Today’s figures are a stark reminder that we must return our public finances to a sustainable footing over time, which will require taking difficult decisions,” finance minister Rishi Sunak said.

Debt as a share of gross domestic product was also pushed up by the sharp contraction in the size of Britain’s economy during the coronavirus lockdown, the ONS said.

British public debt tops two trillion pounds for first time

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.