|Date:||23 April 2013|
|Authors:||Rowena Crawford and Carl Emmerson|
Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances March 2013. We now have provisional details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the whole of financial year 2012−13.
Rowena Crawford, a Senior Research Economist at the IFS, said:
“Today’s figures provisionally show that the Government borrowed £120.6 billion in 2012–13, which is very slightly less than the Office for Budget Responsibility forecast a month ago. Chancellor George Osborne will doubtless be relieved that the effort made in the Budget to ensure borrowing fell between 2011–12 and 2012–13 appears, for now at least, to have been successful. However, a fall in borrowing of £0.3 billion is negligible and backwards revisions to data are common, so today’s figures will not be the last word on the matter.
Whether borrowing is slightly lower or slightly higher in cash terms from one year to the next is not of any direct economic importance. What is important is the bigger picture. The deficit has fallen in cash terms by almost one-quarter between 2009–10 and 2011–12. Last year saw further austerity measures being implemented, but weak economic performance has meant that the deficit was largely unchanged from its 2011–12 level. The same is also forecast to be true of the current financial year.”