Public Finance Press Releases

Public finance bulletin: November 2008

Date: 20 November 2008
Authors:

Headline comparisons

  • Central government current receipts in October were 0.3% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts in the first seven months of 2008-09 were 1.9% higher than in the same months of 2007. The 2008 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2008-09 would be 4.9% above 2007-08 levels.

  • Central government current spending in October was 5.1% higher than in the same month last year. Spending in the first seven months of 2008-09 was 6.0% higher than in the same months of 2007. The 2008 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2008-09 would be 5.4% above 2007-08 levels.

  • Public sector net investment in October was £2.4bn, compared to £2.2bn in the same month last year. Together, public sector net investment during the first seven months of 2008-09 has been £13.7bn, which is 30% higher than in the same months of 2007. The Budget predicted that net investment in 2008-09 would be £33.8bn, which is 13% above last year's level.

  • Public sector net borrowing during the first seven months on 2008-09 was £37.0bn, which is 84.4% higher than the same period last year. If this trend were to continue for the remaining five months of this financial year, and taking into account the fact that the cost of freezing nominal fuel duties and suspending stamp duty on some residential housing transactions has almost entirely not yet been felt, then Public Sector Net Borrowing for the year as a whole would be around £68bn. This is compared to the £42.5bn forecast in the March 2008 Budget. An error of this magnitude would be large even relative to the average absolute error in forecasting one year ahead of around £15bn.