U.K. Budget Deficit Narrows In February
The U.K. budget deficit narrowed in February on higher receipts, data from the Office for National Statistics showed Tuesday.
Public sector net borrowing excluding public sector banks decreased by GBP 0.5 billion to GBP 7.1 billion. However, the deficit was bigger than a GBP 5.9 billion shortfall forecast by economists.
Central government expenditure dropped 0.5 percent, while receipts increased 5.4 percent annually.
At the end of February, public sector net debt excluding public sector banks was GBP 1,577.1 billion, equivalent to 83.1 percent of GDP.
In the financial April 2015 to February 2016, public sector net borrowing excluding banking groups totaled GBP 70.7 billion, a decrease of GBP 14.0 billion, or 16.5 percent compared with the same period in the previous financial year.
IHS Global Insight Economist Howard Archer said the Chancellor still looks much more likely than not to miss his fiscal target for 2015/16.
If George Osborne is to meet the targeted PSNBex of GBP 72.2 billion for 2015/16 contained in last Wednesday's budget, there will have to be deficit of just GBP 1.5 billion in March, Archer noted.
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