Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Air Algerie investigation continues

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Dozens of youths trampled to death on Conakry beach

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola death toll tops 700

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

UNRWA official breaks down over Gaza deaths

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults - Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds' (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults - Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds'

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Renault's women drivers ad deemed sexist

Read more

FOCUS

Constitution prohibits Aung San Suu Kyi to run for president

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

War and Markets, with Steen Jakobsen, Chief Economist at Saxo Bank

Read more

  • Israel and Hamas 72-hour ceasefire begins

    Read more

  • Ukrainian army suffers losses in separatist attack

    Read more

  • Interactive: France’s new plan to counter jihadism in Africa

    Read more

  • Regional summit to tackle deadly Ebola outbreak

    Read more

  • Dozens killed and injured in Taiwan gas blast

    Read more

  • Argentinian markets plummet following default

    Read more

  • French Jews speak of growing fear in Paris amid Gaza conflict

    Read more

  • Video: Inside Hamas ‘terror’ tunnels in Gaza

    Read more

  • Sierra Leone declares state of emergency over spread of Ebola

    Read more

  • France remembers murdered socialist hero Jean Jaurès

    Read more

  • Air France ground workers to strike on August 2

    Read more

  • Scores feared dead in India landslide

    Read more

  • Russia ordered to pay further €1.9 billion to Yukos shareholders

    Read more

  • Iraq's Christians: Nowhere to Run?

    Read more

  • Russia defiant as US, EU unveil 'phase three' sanctions

    Read more

Business

Britain's debt hits record 152.8 billion pounds

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-04-22

According to the figures unveiled by the Office for National Statistics, Britain's public net borrowing hit a record 152.8 billion pounds — 10.87% of GDP — in the fiscal year which ended in March.

REUTERS - Britain’s public finances came in slightly better than economists had expected in March, but official figures on Wednesday still confirmed the 2009/10 fiscal year as the worst since records began after World War Two.

The Office for National Statistics said public sector net borrowing in March rose to 23.498 billion pounds from 20.060 billion pounds in March last year, in what is typically a heavy-spending month as civil servants rush to use up funds before the end of the fiscal year.

This was the highest monthly borrowing for March since records began in 1993, and just below private-sector economists’ consensus forecast of 24 billion pounds.

For the fiscal year as a whole, borrowing totalled a record 152.842 billion pounds ($236.2 billion), equivalent to 10.87 percent of GDP, and up from 86.913 billion pounds in 2008/09.

The deterioration in Britain’s public finances since the start of the financial crisis has been a key point of contention in the political campaign ahead of a May 6 national election.

Labour finance minister Alistair Darling has argued that the spending was necessary to avoid an even deeper recession, while the Conservative opposition has warned it has pushed Britain dangerously close to a downgrade of its triple-A debt rating.

In his 2010 budget in March, Darling forecast that public-sector net borrowing excluding the cost of interventions to support the financial sector would hit 166.5 billion pounds in 2009/10, equivalent to 11.8 percent of GDP.

The Office for National Statistics said this measure of PSNB came in at 163.4 billion pounds for the fiscal year, equivalent to 11.6 percent of GDP.

The alternative public-sector net cash requirement measure of borrowing, which measures immediate government funding needs, showed borrowing of 25.752 billion pounds in March, down from the record 28.359 billion pounds a year ago.

This was well below economists’ forecasts of 32 billion pounds.

For the fiscal year, PSNCR totalled 134.338 billion pounds, up from 59.561 billion in the 2008/09 fiscal year, and the highest since records began in 1963/64.

The ONS also released March retail sales figures at the same time, which showed that Britain’s tentative economic recovery remained on track.

Retail sales volumes rose by 0.4 percent in March versus 2.5 percent in February, giving an annual increase of 2.2 percent. Economists had forecast a monthly rise of 0.6 percent and a year-on-year gain of 2.4 percent.
 

Date created : 2010-04-22

COMMENT(S)