Government runs July budget surplus for first time in 15 years

Government runs July budget surplus for first time in 15 years”

It compares to a deficit of £0.308bn in July 2016.

Public sector net borrowing excluding government stakes in banking groups moved to a £0.2bn surplus compared to a deficit of £0.3bn in July previous year and a consensus forecast for a £1.0bn deficit.

"Self-assessment receipts were boosted by the 31 July deadline falling on a Monday this year, but Sunday in 2016, meaning that some receipts were recorded in August last year", she said.

The government ran the first July budget surplus in more than a decade last month, as Britain's public finances recorded an unexpected leap back into the black with help from an increase in self-assessed tax payments.

For the first four months of 2017/18, however, the deficit rose to £22.8 from £20.9bn the previous year.

In July 2016, borrowing was GBP 0.3 billion.

Today's bulletin noted that borrowing in July tends to be low compared with other months of the year due to the receipt of self-assessed income tax.

The independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has forecast that public sector net borrowing will be £58.3bn during the financial year ending March 2018.

Spending rose 4.6% over the year with upward pressure across all areas while debt interest payments continued to rise sharply with an increase of close to 23% over the year.

Capital Economics warn against getting too carried away by the borrowing figures for the first few months of the fiscal year as they are based on a significant amount of forecast data.

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