UK Borrowing: Less Horrible Than Predicted
Step by step, the UK will emerge from the lockdown. Progress is supported by one of the fastest vaccination rollouts in the world. Now it looks like this will do something to support public finances too. Borrowing piled up when Treasury Secretary Rishi Sunak poured money into stimulus measures, “I said I would do whatever it takes. I did it and I will do it.” But the numbers from Friday (March 19) show that the budget deficit is growing less than expected. In February, the country borrowed £ 19.1 billion, or about $ 26.6 billion. That’s a record for the month, but a few billion less than economists forecast. Unless there is a new increase in March, the year number should now also be below expectations. Other numbers that showed an increase in consumer confidence also added to the optimism. This month’s GfK index hit a year high and people seem to think they will benefit from a rebound. In response to Friday’s loan numbers, Sunak said additional spending and tax cuts were the right thing to do. But he says the focus will be on setting public finances. In his latest budget declaration, the Finance Minister set out plans for spending cuts and tax increases as part of this process.