LONDON (dpa-AFX) - UK public sector borrowing excluding banks in February declined to its lowest level for the month since 2007 and came in below economists' expectations, figures from the Office for National Statistics showed Tuesday.
Net borrowing excluding public sector banks dropped by GBP 2.8 billion year-on-year to GBP 1.8 billion, which was lowest for February since 2007. Economists had forecast GBP 3.2 billion borrowing.
In the current financial year-to-date, public sector net borrowing excluding banks decreased by GBP 19.9 billion to GBP 47.8 billion. The figure was the lowest year-to-date borrowing since the financial year-to-date ending February 2008.
The Office for Budget Responsibility has forecast GBP 51.7 billion borrowing for the financial year ending March 2017.
The ONS noted that the latest report included for the first time the GBP 497.25 million deferred prosecution agreement payment from Rolls-Royce PLC after a probe into bribery and corruption.
The payment that was accrued to January reduced the central government and so public sector net borrowing by GBP 0.5 billion in January.
The agency also pointed out that receipts are particularly high in both January and, to a lesser extent in July, due to the receipt of self-assessed income tax, capital gains tax and self-assessed national insurance contributions.
Net debt excluding public sector banks totaled GBP 1,699.7 billion at the end of February, equivalent to 85.4 percent of gross domestic product. The figure was higher than the GBP 111.1 billion, or 2.3 percentage points as a ratio of GDP, since February 2016.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX