Institute for Fiscal Studies | Public Finance Press Releases IFS receives support from the ESRC to publish a monthly press release comparing the growth in receipts and spending over the year to date with what is implied by the latest Treasury forecast for the year as a whole. The aim is to improve the quality of debate on the public finances by complimenting the analysis produced by city economists.The press release is distributed free of charge to journalists, civil servants and anyone who requests it. They are published online on the press release pages. To sign up to receive these as email alerts, contact Bonnie Brimstone . http://www.ifs.org.uk Wed, 18 Oct 2017 05:44:36 +0000 <![CDATA[IFS analysis of today’s public finance figures]]> Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances January 2017. We now have details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the first ten months of financial year 2016−17.

Thomas Pope, a Research Economist at the IFS, said:

“It is usual for large surpluses to be run in January, but even so this month’s numbers contained particularly good public finance news. This was the largest monthly surplus since 2000, as strong growth in receipts boosted the government coffers. A simple extrapolation implies that government borrowing could be up to £12 billion lower this financial year than the OBR forecast in November – at around £56 billion. Accounting changes means this overstates the good news slightly – but even on a like-for-like basis borrowing is likely to end up between £5 billion and £10 billion lower than the OBR forecast.

While self-assessment income tax receipts disappointed a little relative to forecast, it was a strong month for receipts overall with PAYE income tax, capital gains tax, VAT, Stamp Duties and corporation tax all on course to raise more than the OBR forecast for this financial year back in November. With just two months of the year to go, and after adjusting for an accounting change to corporation tax which boosts measured receipts by £3 billion, central government receipts could be up to £5 billion higher than forecast in November.

The news on the spending side is also positive, and Central Government is currently on course to undershoot forecast spending for the year as a whole. Part of this undershoot is likely to reflect differences in the timing of local authority grants and EU transfers, and so does not imply any improvement in the underlying public finances. The timing of other elements of public spending can also vary so we will have to wait and see whether spending by central government departments rebounds in the final two months of the financial year or whether a significant underspend is delivered.”

Further analysis

Receipts

Extrapolating from the first ten months of this financial year, Central government receipts are set to be £8 billion higher than the OBR forecast in November (see Table), though still lower than the March 2016 forecast. This is due to PAYE income tax, capital gains tax, VAT, Stamp Duties and corporation tax all exceeding expectations.

The reason for the large overall surplus that was run in January was self-assessment receipts, which are mostly scored in that month. However, income tax self-assessment actually disappointed relative to forecast. It is important to note that self-assessment receipts were particularly uncertain this year as a change to the taxation of dividends meant that some owners of small companies had the incentive to forestall dividend payments, taking more in 2015–16 (the receipts for which came in this January). Therefore, the disappointment on self-assessment receipts may simply reflect less forestalling rather than bad longer term news for the public finances.

Corporation tax is now counted on an accruals basis, rather than a cash basis. This increases revenues this year by around £3 billion. Even so, this was a good month for corporation tax revenues, and on a like-for-like basis corporation tax receipts are on course to exceed the OBR forecast by over £4 billion.

Table: Growth in receipts, spending and borrowing over the year to date


Note: PAYE = Pay As You Earn; NICs = National Insurance Contributions; SDLT = Stamp Duty Land Tax; PSNB = Public Sector Net Borrowing Total growth figures refer to Central government only. Corporation tax is presented on a cash basis, rather than an accruals basis. Numbers may not sum due to rounding.

Spending

The figures for this year so far imply that spending by Central Government may undershoot the OBR forecast by up to £8 billion. Debt interest spending and welfare spending are both broadly on course to meet their forecast, with the current forecast underspend coming from current spending of government departments. Part of this difference reflects the timing of EU transfers and grants to Local Authorities. It may be that underspends will still be achieved, but it could also be the case that spending catches up with the forecast over the final two months of the year, such that spending comes in closer to what the OBR expects.

Further information and contacts

For further information on today’s public finance release please contact: Carl Emmerson or Thomas Pope on 020 7291 4800, or email carl_e@ifs.org.uk or thomas_p@ifs.org.uk.

Next month’s public finances release is due to be published on Tuesday 21st March 2017.

Relevant links:

This, and previous editions of this press release, can be downloaded from http://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/browse?type=pf

Office for National Statistics & HM Treasury, Public Sector Finances, January 2017: http://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/governmentpublicsectorandtaxes/publicsectorfinance/bulletins/publicsectorfinances/jan2017

Office for Budget Responsibility analysis of monthly Public Sector Finances, January 2017: http://budgetresponsibility.org.uk/monthly-public-finances-briefing/

Office for Budget Responsibility, Economic and Fiscal Outlook, November 2016: http://budgetresponsibility.org.uk/efo/economic-and-fiscal-outlook-november-2016/

HM Treasury Autumn Statement 2016: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/autumn-statement-2016

Ends

 

Notes to editors

  1. Central government current spending includes depreciation.
  2. Where possible we compare figures on an accruals basis with the Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts.
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http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/8900 Tue, 21 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000
<![CDATA[IFS analysis of today’s public finance figures]]> Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances September 2016. We now have details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the first half of financial year 2016−17.

Thomas Pope, a Research Economist at the IFS, said:

"At the half way point in the financial year, tax receipts have disappointed while central government spending has been slightly lower than official forecasts for the year imply. Overall, borrowing looks set to be higher than the OBR forecast in March, possibly by a reasonable margin. The trend so far suggests that, over the year as a whole, receipts could undershoot by £14 billion.  

The next few months might however contain some better news on receipts. The recent rise in income tax on dividend income is likely to have led to some owner-managers bringing forward their dividend payments. As a result we can expect strong growth in income tax receipts on dividend payments to arrive around the self-assessment deadline at the end of January. Therefore a better estimate for receipts this year is for an undershoot of £8 billion, driven by with weak receipts from income tax and National Insurance on earnings, and from VAT on purchases. 

On November 23rd, the new chancellor will present his response to a much changed economic outlook at the Autumn Statement. Borrowing looks likely to be larger this year than his predecessor expected in March, which will make the challenge he faces more difficult."

Further analysis

Receipts

Extrapolating from the year to date, government receipts are on course to be £14 billion down on the OBR’s forecast from March (see Table). In particular, PAYE, NICs and VAT receipts look set to disappoint, while strong Corporation tax receipts offset this a little. Due to strong expected growth in Self-Assessment receipts (which mostly come in January and February) this year, a better central estimate would be that receipts might miss their forecast by around £8 billion.

This month, and for the year to date, Stamp Duty Land Tax receipts have grown less quickly than the OBR forecast for the year as a whole, likely due to a reduction in property transactions. The OBR highlights a slowdown in high end residential and commercial purchases, particularly in London. On the other hand, stamp duty on shares has been buoyed by the increase in share prices and volatility in the market (which leads to more transactions). These two effects broadly offset one another.

Table: Growth in receipts, spending and borrowing over the year to date

 

% growth

£ billion

 

Year-to-date

(outturn data)

Forecast for year as a whole

(OBR, March 2016)

Forecast for 2016–17

(OBR, March 2016)

Implied difference

Central government receipts

3.6%

5.9%

672.6

–14

Of which:

 

 

 

 

PAYE

1.6%

5.0%

153.4

–5

NICs

7.0%

10.9%

126.5

–5

VAT

2.3%

3.3%

134.8

–1

Corporation tax

3.5%

-2.0%

43.5

+2

 

 

 

 

 

Central government spending

1.7%

2.4%

686.7

–5

Total

–8.7%

–23.4%

55.5

+10

Note: PAYE = Pay As You Earn; NICs = National Insurance Contributions; Total growth figures refer to Central government only. Numbers may not sum due to rounding

Spending

Central government spending is running below forecast to the tune of around £5 billion. Broadly, this is explained by reductions in grants to Local Authorities, with their borrowing running ahead of forecast.

The full picture

For the public sector as a whole, a simple extrapolation implies a deficit £17 billion above the OBR forecast. However, some of this is driven by changes in the timing of spending and revenues for local government, which should unwind by March.

For a best estimate of public sector borrowing for the year, we focus on the central government numbers. Here a simple extrapolation implies a £10 billion increase in the deficit compared to forecast. If receipts were to progress as we expect, and spending caught up with the forecast over the next six months, the deficit would be around £8 billion higher than the OBR forecast in March.

Further information and contacts

For further information on today’s public finance release please contact: Carl Emmerson or Thomas Pope on 020 7291 4800, or email carl_e@ifs.org.uk or thomas_p@ifs.org.uk.

Next month’s public finances release is due to be published on Tuesday 22nd November 2016.

Relevant links

This, and previous editions of this press release, can be downloaded from http://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/browse?type=pf

Office for National Statistics & HM Treasury, Public Sector Finances, September 2016: http://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/governmentpublicsectorandtaxes/publicsectorfinance/bulletins/publicsectorfinances/sept2016   

Office for Budget Responsibility analysis of monthly Public Sector Finances, September 2016: http://budgetresponsibility.org.uk/monthly-public-finances-briefing/

Office for Budget Responsibility, Economic and Fiscal Outlook, March 2016: http://budgetresponsibility.org.uk/efo/economic-fiscal-outlook-march-2016/

HM Treasury Budget 2016: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/budget-2016  

Notes to Editors

1. Central government current spending includes depreciation.

2. Where possible we compare figures on an accruals basis with the Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts

]]>
http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/9570 Fri, 21 Oct 2016 00:00:00 +0000
<![CDATA[IFS analysis of today’s public finance figures: February 2016]]> Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances January 2016. We now have details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the first ten months of financial year 2015−16.

Thomas Pope, a Research Economist at the IFS, said:

“As is usual, and was expected, the government ran a surplus in January, with receipts exceeding spending by £11.2 billion. Receipts of capital gains tax were strong and those of corporation tax were weak, both of which were anticipated by the OBR. Self-assessment income tax receipts were weak in January, although it is possible that – with the last two days before the payment deadline falling at the weekend – some of the strong growth in receipts expected this year will be reflected in next month’s numbers.

A simple extrapolation of borrowing over the first ten months of this financial year suggests that it is on course to come in closer to £80 billion than the £73.5 billion forecast by the OBR. But £4 billion of this apparent overshoot is accounted for by rapid growth so far in investment spending which may well not persist. Were borrowing to come in at around £76 billion this should be considered to be very close to the OBR’s November forecast.

In the forthcoming Budget the key issue will be the forecast for borrowing in 2019–20 as Mr Osborne has committed to eliminating the deficit by that year. The last OBR forecast suggested he had a surplus of £10 billion. But this could easily be eliminated by a weaker outlook for the economy, even if associated with a reduction in forecast debt interest spending. Any Budget giveaways – for example to deliver manifesto commitments to reduce income tax, or to cut taxes on North Sea oil and gas producers – would make it harder to deliver a budget surplus.”

Further analysis

Receipts

Central government receipts were 3.4% higher this January than last (see Table), but this is slower than the forecast growth between December and March implied by the OBR’s November forecast. They expect receipts to increase by 3.8% in the year as a whole, and by 5.3% in the last four months of the year compared to the same period in 2014–15. Some good news on capital gains and PAYE income tax was offset by worse than expected receipts in other areas, most notably self-assessment income tax.

Table: Growth in receipts, spending and borrowing over the year to date

 

% growth

£ billion

 

Month-on-month (outturn data)

Year-to-date

(outturn data)

Forecast for year as a whole

(OBR, November 2015)

Forecast for 2015–16

(OBR, November 2015)

Central government receipts

3.4%

3.0%

3.8%

637.8

Of which:

 

 

 

 

Income tax

Of which:

PAYE

SA

2.8%

 

5.4%

1.6%

4.0%

 

5.1%

2.7%

5.0%

 

5.1%

5.3%

171.8

 

147.2

24.9

NICs

CGT

SDLT

3.7%

27.7%

15.7%

3.5%

28.0%

0.3%

3.9%

15.1%

3.2%

114.6

6.4

11.2

VAT

2.7%

3.7%

3.9%

129.7

Corporation tax

–7.8%

3.0%

3.0%

44.3

 

 

 

 

 

Central government spending

2.8%

0.8%

1.1%

675.2

Of which:

 

 

 

 

Debt interest

46.0%

0.8%

2.9%

46.5

Net social benefits

-0.9%

0.7%

1.5%

204.8

Other

1.0%

0.8%

0.7%

423.9

 

 

 

 

 

Public sector net investment

8.2%

7.6%

–3.5%

33.6

Public sector net borrowing

9.7%

–13.7%

–20.0%

73.5

Note: PAYE = Pay As You Earn; SA = Self-Assessment; NICs = National Insurance Contributions; CGT = Capital Gains Tax; SDLT = Stamp Duty Land Tax.

Capital gains receipts grew strongly, by 27.7% on January last year and above expectation. This was partly due to strong house price growth over the last year. However, self assessment income tax receipts were up only 1.6% on the same month last year, compared to an OBR estimate of 5.3% for the year as a whole. The 30th and 31st of January (when tax returns are due) both fell on a weekend this year, so it could be that some of these receipts will spill over into February.

Corporation tax receipts were 7.8% lower this January than last, partly reflecting the fact that oil companies (whose profits will have been hit by low oil prices) make one of their three annual payments in this month. Over the year as a whole, Corporation tax receipts are still on course to meet the OBR forecast. Although receipts were weak this month, the vast majority of this year’s receipts have already been collected and a weaker performance towards the end of the year was already factored into the OBR forecast.

Apart from income tax, the other two largest taxes (NICs and VAT) both underperformed relative to forecast. The OBR’s November forecast implied these receipts would grow by 4.1% and 3.6% respectively in the last four months of this year compared to the same period last year. However, in January NICs receipts grew by only 3.7% on the same month a year earlier, while VAT receipts grew by just 2.7%.

Spending

While receipts may have been disappointing for the Chancellor, the spending figures will have made for somewhat happier reading. Spending increased by 2.8% compared to January of 2014–15 but remains on track to undershoot the OBR’s forecast for the year as a whole. The OBR’s November forecast implies annual spending growth of 1.1%, while in the year to date spending has increased by only 0.8%.

Within this, debt interest spending has been particularly low. If the current growth rate were to persist for the year as a whole, debt interest spending would undershoot the OBR’s forecast by £1 billion. However, it is unlikely that debt interest spending would end up so far below expectation.

The full picture

If the year on year growth pattern of the last 10 months were to persist for the rest of the year, today’s figures imply that total public sector net borrowing would be £79.3 billion, £5.8 billion more than the OBR forecast in November. However, £3.8 billion of this difference arises from the fact that Public Sector Net Investment has been higher than forecast so far this year, and it might well be that strong growth in spending so far this year will not persist into February and March.

Further information and contacts

For further information on today’s public finance release please contact: Carl Emmerson, Thomas Pope or Gemma Tetlow on 020 7291 4800, or email carl_e@ifs.org.uk, thomas_p@ifs.org.uk or gemma_t@ifs.org.uk.

Next month’s public finances release is due to be published on Tuesday 22nd March 2016.

Relevant links:

This, and previous editions of this press release, can be downloaded from http://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/browse?type=pf

Office for National Statistics & HM Treasury, Public Sector Finances, January 2016: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/psa/public-sector-finances/january-2016/index.html

Office for Budget Responsibility analysis of monthly Public Sector Finances, January 2016: http://budgetresponsibility.org.uk/monthly-public-finances-briefing/

Office for Budget Responsibility, Economic and Fiscal Outlook, November 2015: http://budgetresponsibility.org.uk/efo/economic-and-fiscal-outlook-november-2015/

HM Treasury Autumn Statement and Spending Review 2015: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/autumn-statement-and-spending-review-2015

ENDS

 

Notes to Editors

1. Central government current spending includes depreciation.

2. Where possible we compare figures on an accruals basis with the Office for Budget Responsibility forecast.

 

]]>
http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/8169 Fri, 19 Feb 2016 00:00:00 +0000
<![CDATA[IFS public finance bulletin: August 2015]]> Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances July 2015. We now have details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the first four months of financial year 2015–16.

Rowena Crawford, a Senior Research Economist at the IFS, said:

"Today's public finance figures contain a mixed bag of news for the government. On the one hand, receipts from corporation tax and income tax have continued to perform strongly, in a month when a relatively large proportion of these receipts are received. On the other hand, receipts from VAT are now estimated to have been smaller so far this year than previously thought, and so to have been performing less well than the Office for Budget Responsibility forecast for the year as a whole.

"Overall receipts have performed slightly more strongly over the past four months than the OBR forecast for the whole of 2015–16, though it is too early to judge whether this trend will continue for the rest of the financial year. Central government spending so far has grown less rapidly than forecast for the year as a whole, but is expected to pick up over the course of the year."

Headline Comparisons

  • Central government current receipts in July were 3.9% higher than in July 2014, and receipts between April and July have been 4.4% higher than over the same months last year. This compares favourably with the 3.8% growth in receipts over the year as a whole forecast by the OBR in its July 2015 Economic and Fiscal Outlook.

  • Central government current spending was forecast to increase by 1.0% between 2014–15 and 2015–16 by the OBR in July. Over the first four months of this year central government spending has been 0.1% higher than over the same period in 2014, but this low growth is largely driven by changes in the timing of grants paid to local government, which should unwind as the year progresses. Central government current spending in July 2015 was 3.4% higher than in July 2014.

  • Public sector net investment in July was £1.9 billion, £0.1 billion more was spent in July last year. Together, public sector net investment between April and July 2015 has been £4.9 billion. This is £0.4 billion less than over the same four months in 2014. The OBR’s July 2015 forecast was for net investment over the whole of 2015–16 to be £28.6 billion, which is 6.2% below last year’s level (£30.5 billion).

  • The public sector finances were in surplus in July 2015, with public sector receipts being £1.3 billion greater than public sector spending. This is due to the timing of government revenues – a large proportion of corporation tax receipts and self-assessment income tax receipts are received in July each year.

Further Analysis

Little can be inferred or extrapolated about the public finances in 2015–16 from information about only the first four months of the financial year. Bearing this in mind, the figures for receipts and spending in July 2015 show:

Central government current receipts

Receipts from income tax, capital gains tax and National Insurance contributions in July 2015 were 4.2% higher than the same month last year. July is an important month for these receipts, since it is one of the main months in which the government receives revenues from self-assessment. Self-assessment income tax receipts were 17.3% higher in July 2015 than July 2014, though it will be important to compare receipts from July and August together to get a fuller picture. Between April and July 2015 receipts from income tax, capital gains tax and NICs have been 5.1% higher than over the same months last year. In its July 2015 Economic and Fiscal Outlook the OBR forecast that these receipts would grow by 4.3% over the year as a whole.

Cash receipts of corporation tax in July 2015 were 5.2% higher than the same month last year. July is one of the four months in the year when a substantial proportion of corporation tax payments are made, so the strong performance of these receipts this month is particularly good news. Over the first four months of this financial year corporation tax receipts have been 9.5% higher than over the same period in 2014–15. This compares favourably to the 0.3% increase in corporation tax receipts over the year as a whole implied by the OBR’s July forecasts.

VAT receipts in July 2015 were 3.3% higher than the same month last year. Together the VAT receipts during the first four months of 2015−16 were 2.5% higher than in the same months of 2014−15. This represents lower growth over the year to date than estimated last month (when receipts in April to June were thought to be 6.3% higher than over the same three months last year), due to a downward revision to previous months’ receipts. The OBR forecast in July implied that VAT receipts would be 3.8% higher in 2015–16 than they were in 2014–15.

Central government current spending

Expenditure on net social benefits was 0.7% higher in July 2015 than in July 2014, while expenditure over the first four months of this year was 1.3% higher than over the same period last year. This is broadly in line with the OBR’s July forecast which implied that spending on net social benefits over the year as a whole would be 1.2% higher than last year.

Spending on debt interest was £4.2 billion in July 2015, higher than the £3.7 billion that was spent in July 2014. Spending on debt interest between April and July was £17.9 billion, which is 1.0% greater than the amount spent in the same months of last year. The OBR forecast at the time of the July 2015 Budget was that total debt interest spending by central government in 2015−16 would be £46.7 billion, £1.3 billion (or 2.8%) more was spent in 2014–15.

Other current spending by central government, including spending on the delivery of public services, was 3.9% higher in July 2015 than in July 2014. Over the period April to July 2015 this area of spending has been 0.6% lower than over the same period in 2014, but this low growth in spending is largely driven by changes in the timing of grants paid to local government, which should unwind as the year progresses. The OBR forecasts in the July 2015 Budget suggest other central government spending over the whole of 2015–16 will be 0.7% higher than in 2014–15.

Further information and contacts

For further information on today’s public finance release please contact: Rowena Crawford on 020 7291 4800, or email rowena_c@ifs.org.uk.

Next month’s public finances release is due to be published on Tuesday 22nd September.

Relevant links

IFS analysis of the outlook for departmental spending over the next parliament based on the July 2015 Budget figures can be found at: http://www.ifs.org.uk/uploads/publications/budgets/Budgets%202015/Summer/Crawford_public_finances.pdf

Other IFS analysis of the July 2015 Budget can be found at:  http://www.ifs.org.uk/tools_and_resources/budget/505

This, and previous editions of this press release, can be downloaded from http://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/pf

Office for National Statistics, Public Sector Finances, July 2015: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/psa/public-sector-finances/july-2015/index.html

Office for Budget Responsibility analysis of Public Sector Finances, July 2015: http://budgetresponsibility.independent.gov.uk/category/topics/monthly-public-finance-data/

Office for Budget Responsibility, Economic and Fiscal Outlook, July 2015: http://budgetresponsibility.org.uk/economic-fiscal-outlook-july-2015/

 

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

  1. All figures are on a basis that excludes the impact of temporary financial sector interventions.

  2. Central government current spending includes depreciation.

  3. Where possible we compare figures on an accruals basis with the Office for Budget Responsibility forecast.

 

]]>
http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/7959 Fri, 21 Aug 2015 00:00:00 +0000
<![CDATA[IFS analysis of today’s public finance figures]]> Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances June 2015. We now have details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the first three months of financial year 2015–16.

Rowena Crawford, a Senior Research Economist at the IFS, said:

“Today’s figures suggest that receipts this year continue to grow strongly compared to last year, as was forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility alongside the Budget earlier this month. The picture for central government spending is, as ever, complicated by timing issues: spending has grown less rapidly so far this year than forecast for the year as a whole, but is expected to pick up over the course of the year. Taken together, the government looks so far this year to be on course to enjoy the fall in borrowing forecast by the OBR two weeks ago.”

Headline comparisons

We should be cautious of interring or extrapolating too much from information on only the first three months of the financial year; in particular, there is only one month of data that was not known at the time the OBR made their latest forecasts published alongside the Summer Budget two weeks ago. Bearing this in mind, Table 1 compares the growth in government receipts and spending in June 2015, and over the year to date, with the growth implied for the year as a whole by the OBR’s forecasts made at the time of the March and July Budgets.

  • Central government current receipts were forecast to increase by 3.8% between 2014–15 and 2015–16 by the OBR in its July 2015 Economic and Fiscal Outlook; stronger performance than the 2.8% growth forecast by the OBR in March. Growth in receipts between April and June 2015 compared to the same months last year was 5.4%, and receipts in June 2015 were 4.4% higher than in June 2014.
  • Central government current spending was forecast to increase by 0.9% between 2014–15 and 2015–16 by the OBR in July (similar to the 0.8% increase forecast in March). Over the period April to June 2015 central government current spending has been 0.7% lower than over the same period in 2014, but this low growth in spending is largely driven by changes in the timing of grants paid to local government, which should unwind as the year progresses. Central government current spending in June 2015 was 3.0% higher than in June 2014.
  • Public sector net borrowing over the whole of 2015–16 was forecast by the OBR in July to be 22.1% lower than borrowing in 2014–15. This is a somewhat more favourable picture than that forecast in March (a decline in borrowing this year of 16.5% compared to last year), due primarily to the improved forecast for receipts. Over the year to date borrowing has been 19.6% lower than over the same three months of 2014–15.

Table 1: Growth in receipts and spending

 

 

Growth over 2015/16 as a whole implied by OBR forecasts in:

Growth compared to equivalent period in 2014 (outturn data):

 

 

March EFO

July EFO

April – June 2015

June 2015

Central government current receipts

 

2.8%

3.8%

5.4%

4.4%

Income tax, CGT and NICs

 

4.8%

4.2%

6.0%

4.1%

VAT

 

2.6%

3.8%

6.3%

6.0%

Corporation tax (cash)

 

1.4%

0.5%

13.6%

13.9%

Central government current spending

 

0.8%

0.9%

–0.7%

3.0%

Net social benefits

 

0.5%

0.8%

1.4%

3.6%

Debt interest

 

0.7%

2.9%

–1.7%

5.7%

Other CG current spending

 

0.9%

0.7%

–1.5%

2.4%

Public sector net investment

 

–3.0%

–7.4%

–4.9%

16.0%

Public sector net borrowing

 

–16.5%

–22.1%

–19.6%

–8.3%

Notes: Percentage growth rates implied by OBR forecasts are calculated using the £ billion forecasts for 2014–15 and 2015–16 published in the March and July EFOs.

Further information and contacts

For further information on today’s public finance release please contact: Rowena Crawford on 020 7291 4800, or email rowena_c@ifs.org.uk.

Next month’s public finances release is due to be published on Friday 21st August.

Relevant links:

This, and previous editions of this press release, can be downloaded from http://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/pf

Office for National Statistics, Public Sector Finances, June 2015: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/psa/public-sector-finances/june-2015/index.html

Office for Budget Responsibility analysis of Public Sector Finances, June 2015: http://budgetresponsibility.independent.gov.uk/category/topics/monthly-public-finance-data/

Office for Budget Responsibility, Economic and Fiscal Outlook, July 2015: http://budgetresponsibility.org.uk/economic-fiscal-outlook-july-2015/

Office for Budget Responsibility, Economic and Fiscal Outlook, March 2015: http://budgetresponsibility.org.uk/economic-fiscal-outlook-march-2015/

Useful links and background information on the July 2015 Budget can be found at: http://www.ifs.org.uk/tools_and_resources/budget/505

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

1. All figures are on a basis that excludes the impact of the public sector banks.

2. Where possible we compare figures on an accruals basis with the Office for Budget Responsibility forecast.

3. Central government current spending includes depreciation.

]]>
http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/7906 Tue, 21 Jul 2015 00:00:00 +0000
<![CDATA[IFS public finance bulletin: June 2015]]> Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances May 2015. We now have details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the first two months of financial year 2015–16 and revised outturns for the whole of financial year 2014–15.

Rowena Crawford, a Senior Research Economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), said:

“With only data from the first two months of the financial year, we cannot yet say much about the likely path of the public finances over the year as a whole. Receipts have so far performed well, but it is too early to tell whether this is a trend that will continue, and as ever the picture for central government spending is complicated by timing issues.

“Today’s figures also highlight the uncertainty of initial estimates. Outturns for borrowing over the last financial year have been revised again, and now lie roughly in line with the forecasts that the Office for Budget Responsibility made back in March.

“The Chancellor faces his first budget of the parliament next month with little change in the public finance position since his last Budget four months ago. The interest will therefore lie in what new policies the Chancellor announces to help him achieve his aspiration for an overall budget surplus by 2018–19, his desire to reduce spending more rapidly this year, and any detail he fills in on the £12 billion of welfare cuts that the Conservative party manifesto pledged but that have so far been largely unspecified.”

Headline Comparisons

  • Public sector net borrowing in 2014–15 is now estimated to have been £89.2bn, higher than the £87.7bn published last month, but still lower than the £90.2bn forecast by the OBR in the March Budget. This change is due to a £0.6bn downward revision to central government current receipts, a £0.8bn net upwards revision to central government spending, and a £0.5bn upward revision to borrowing by public corporations. The OBR’s March 2015 forecast is for the public sector to borrow £75.3bn this financial year, although this does not take into account the additional in-year spending cuts announced by Mr Osborne two weeks ago. Borrowing over April and May 2015 was £16.4bn, which is £5.1bn lower than over the same months in 2014.

  • Public sector net debt at the end of 2014–15 is now estimated to have been £1,486bn, or 80.5% of national income. The OBR’s March 2015 forecast is that this will fall to 80.2% by the end of this financial year.

  • Central government current receipts were forecast to increase by 3.1% between 2014–15 and 2015–16 by the OBR in its March 2015 Economic and Fiscal Outlook, adjusting for the effects of the Asset Purchase Facility. Growth in receipts between April and May 2015 compared to the same two months last year was higher than this, at 4.1%. This higher than average expected growth was largely driven by strong growth in corporation tax in April and VAT in both April and May. With 10 months left of the financial year still to come, these data do not provide much indication as to whether the OBR’s forecast for the year will prove to be an under- or over-estimate.

  • Central government current spending in May 2015 was 0.7% higher than in May 2014, while spending over the first two months of this financial year together has been 2.9% lower than over the same period last year. This is in contrast to the 1.0% increase forecast by the OBR for the year as a whole. The low growth of spending in April 2015 compared to April 2014 was largely driven by changes in the timing of grants paid to local government which should unwind as the year progresses.

  • Public sector net investment in May was £0.8bn, £0.5bn less than was spent in May 2014. Over the year so far investment spending has been £1.5bn, £0.7bn less than over the same period last year. The OBR’s forecast at the time of the March 2015 Budget was that net investment over the whole of 2015–16 would be £29.5bn, which would be 4.4% below last year’s level.

Further Analysis

Little can be inferred or extrapolated about the public finances in 2015–16 from information about only the first two months of the financial year. Bearing this in mind, the figures for receipts and spending in May 2015 show:

Central government current receipts

Receipts from income tax, capital gains tax and National Insurance Contributions for May 2015 were 4.4% higher than in the same month last year, and taking April and May together, receipts were 3.8% higher this year than last. The OBR’s March 2015 forecast implies that receipts from these taxes will grow by 3.9% over the whole of 2015–16.

VAT receipts in May 2015 were 5.6% higher than the same month last year, and taking April and May together, receipts were 4.9% higher this year than last. This is a larger increase than expected in the OBR’s March 2015 forecast for the year as a whole, which implies that VAT receipts will grow by 2.8% over the whole of 2015–16.

Cash receipts of corporation tax in May 2015 were 2.8% lower than in the same month last year. However, a relatively small proportion of corporation tax is received in May, and receipts from CT performed strongly in April 2015, a month in which a substantial proportion of corporation tax payments are made. Taking April and May together, corporation tax receipts were 13.5% higher than over the same months in 2014. This is strong performance relative to the OBR’s March 2015 forecast for the year as a whole which implies CT revenue would be essentially unchanged from last year. According to the OBR, this strong performance was down to increases in profits of the financial and life assurance sectors, which was enough to offset the cut to the main rate of corporation tax from 21% to 20% that took effect in April 2015.

Central government current spending

Expenditure on net social benefits was essentially the same in May 2015 as in May 2014, and over April and May together compared with the same two months last year. The OBR’s latest forecast implies that central government net social benefit expenditure will grow by 0.6% over 2015–16.

Spending on debt interest was £4.1bn in May 2015, £0.2bn lower than was spent in May 2014. Over the first two months of this financial year £9.2bn has been spent on debt interest, 4.3% less than the £9.6bn that was spent over the same period in 2014–15. The OBR’s forecast from the time of the March 2015 Budget was that debt interest spending over the whole of 2015–16 would be £46.0bn, 1.3% higher than in 2014–15.

Other current spending by central government, including spending on the administration and delivery of public services, was 1.6% higher in May 2015 than in May 2014. Taking April and May together, spending has been 4.0% lower than over the same period last year. This is largely driven by a change in the timing of grants to local government, which reduced central government spending in April 2014 compared to April 2015; this will unwind over the rest of the year. The OBR’s March 2015 forecast implies that other central government spending will grow by 1.3% over the year as a whole, although this does not take into account the additional in-year spending cuts announced by Mr Osborne two weeks ago.

Further information and contacts

For further information on today’s public finance release please contact: Rowena Crawford or Gemma Tetlow on 020 7291 4800, or email rowena_c@ifs.org.uk or gemma_t@ifs.org.uk.The first budget of this parliament is scheduled for Wednesday 8th July. On the following day the IFS will hold a lunchtime briefing, where IFS researchers will present analysis of what the Chancellor says on the public finances, departmental spending, and the tax and benefit system. Further information and registration details are available at http://www.ifs.org.uk/events/1159

Next month’s public finances release is due to be published on Tuesday 21st July.

Relevant links

This, and previous editions of this press release, can be downloaded from http://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/pf

Office for National Statistics & HM Treasury, Public Sector Finances, May 2015: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/psa/public-sector-finances/may-2015/index.html

Office for Budget Responsibility analysis of monthly Public Sector Finances, May 2015: http://budgetresponsibility.independent.gov.uk/category/topics/monthly-public-finance-data/

Office for Budget Responsibility, Economic and Fiscal Outlook, March 2015: http://budgetresponsibility.org.uk/economic-fiscal-outlook-march-2015/

HM Treasury Budget 2015: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/budget-2015

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

1. All figures are on a basis that excludes the impact of the public sector banks.

2. Central government current spending includes depreciation.

3. Where possible we compare figures on an accruals basis with the Office for Budget Responsibility forecast.

]]>
http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/7786 Fri, 19 Jun 2015 00:00:00 +0000
<![CDATA[IFS public finance bulletin: May 2015]]> Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances April 2015. We now have details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the first month of financial year 2015–16 and revised outturns for the whole of financial year 2014–15.

Soumaya Keynes, a Research Economist at the IFS, said:

"With only data from April, we cannot yet say much about the public finances for the whole of the current financial year. Despite this, the figures do give George Osborne two things to be pleased about.

"First, in a month when a hefty chunk of corporation tax revenues are received, growth in this source of revenues has been impressive. It is up by 11.3% – or £0.6 billion – in April compared to the same month last year. This is strong compared to a slight nominal fall in corporation tax receipts the Office for Budget Responsibility forecast for the financial year as a whole.

"Second, the latest outturn for borrowing in the last financial year remains slightly lower than the Office for Budget Responsibility expected back in March.

"The apparent improvement is not enough to change the big-picture public finances story – borrowing remains high by historical and international standards, and the Chancellor’s aspiration to achieve an overall budget surplus by 2018–19 without significant net tax increases will require hefty spending cuts."

Headline Comparisons

  • The public sector current budget in 2014–15 is estimated to have been in deficit by £56.9bn. This is exactly the same as the initial estimated outturn published last month and somewhat lower than the Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR’s) forecast from the March 2015 Budget of a £59.8bn deficit. The OBR’s March 2015 forecast is for the public sector current budget deficit to fall to £45.7bn this financial year.

  • Public sector net borrowing in 2014–15 is now estimated to have been £87.7bn, around £0.3bn higher than the initial estimated outturn published last month, but lower than the £90.2bn forecast by the OBR in the March Budget. The OBR’s March 2015 forecast is for the public sector to borrow £75.3bn this financial year. Borrowing in April 2015 was £6.8bn, which is £2.5bn lower than in April 2014.

  • Public sector net debt at the end of 2014–15 is now estimated to have been £1,484bn, or 80.4% of national income. The OBR’s March 2015 forecast is that this will fall to 80.2% by the end of this financial year.

  • Central government current receipts were forecast to increase by 3.0% between 2014–15 and 2015–16 by the OBR in its March 2015 Economic and Fiscal Outlook, adjusting for the effects of the Asset Purchase Facility. Growth in receipts in April 2015 compared to the same month last year was slightly higher than this, at 3.4%. This higher-than-average expected growth was largely driven by strong growth in Corporation tax and VAT. With 11 months left of the financial year still to come, these data do not provide much indication as to whether the OBR’s forecast for the year will prove to be an under- or over-estimate.

  • Central government current spending in April was 7.1% lower than in April last year, in contrast to the 1.1% increase forecast by the OBR for the year as a whole. This fall was largely driven by changes in the timing of grants paid to local government which will unwind later this year. This will unwind as the year progresses.  

  • Public sector net investment in April was £0.5bn, £0.3bn less than was spent in April 2014. The OBR’s forecast at the time of the March 2015 Budget was that net investment over the whole of 2015–16 would be £29.5bn, 3.9% below last year’s level.

Further Analysis

Little can be inferred or extrapolated about the public finances in 2015–16 from information about only the first month of the financial year. Bearing this in mind, the figures for receipts and spending in April 2015 show:

Central government current receipts

Receipts from Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax and National Insurance Contributions for April 2015 were 3.5% higher than in the same month last year. The OBR’s March 2015 forecast implies that receipts from these taxes will pick up over the rest of the year, growing by 4.0% over the whole of 2015–16.

Cash receipts of Corporation Tax in April 2015 were 11.3% higher than in the same month last year. April is one of the four months in the year when a substantial proportion of Corporation Tax payments are made, so the strong performance of Corporation Tax is good news, particularly relative to the OBR’s March 2015 forecast for the year as a whole of a fall of 0.5%. According to the OBR, this strong performance was down to increases in profits of the financial and life assurance sectors, by enough to offset the cut to the main rate of corporation tax from 21% to 20%.

VAT receipts in April 2015 were 3.4% higher than the same month last year. This is a larger increase than expected in the OBR’s March 2015 forecast for the year as a whole, which implies that VAT receipts will grow by 2.6% over the whole of 2015–16.

Central government current spending

Expenditure on net social benefits was 1.1% lower in April 2015 than in April 2014. The OBR’s latest forecast implies that central government net social benefit expenditure will grow by 1.0% over 2015–16.

Spending on debt interest was £5.0bn in April 2015, £0.4bn lower than was spent in April 2014. The OBR’s forecast from the time of the March 2015 Budget was that debt interest spending over the whole of 2015–16 would be £46.1bn.

Other current spending by central government, including spending on the delivery of public services, was 9.5% lower in April 2015 than in April 2014. The OBR’s March 2015 forecast implies that this component of spending will grow by 1.3% over the year as a whole. This difference is largely as a result of a change in the timing of grants to local government, as mentioned above.

Further information and contacts

For further information on today’s public finance release please contact: Soumaya Keynes or Carl Emmerson on 020 7291 4800, or email soumaya_k@ifs.org.uk or carl_e@ifs.org.uk.

Next month’s public finances release is due to be published on Friday 19th June. The first budget of this parliament is scheduled for Wednesday 8th July.

Relevant links:

This, and previous editions of this press release, can be downloaded from http://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/pf

Office for National Statistics & HM Treasury, Public Sector Finances, April 2015: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/psa/public-sector-finances/april-2015/index.html

Office for Budget Responsibility analysis of monthly Public Sector Finances, May 2015: http://budgetresponsibility.independent.gov.uk/category/topics/monthly-public-finance-data/

Useful links and background information on Budget 2015 can be found at: http://www.ifs.org.uk/tools_and_resources/budget/502

Office for Budget Responsibility, Economic and Fiscal Outlook, March 2015: http://budgetresponsibility.org.uk/economic-fiscal-outlook-march-2015/

HM Treasury Budget 2015: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/budget-2015

IFS Green Budget, February 2015, containing in-depth public finance analysis, can be found at: http://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/7530 

Notes to Editors:

All figures are on a basis that excludes the impact of the public sector banks.
Central government current spending includes depreciation.
Where possible we compare figures on an accruals basis with the Office for Budget Responsibility forecast.

 

]]>
http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/7761 Fri, 22 May 2015 00:00:00 +0000
<![CDATA[IFS public finance bulletin: February 2015]]> Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances January 2015. We now have details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the first ten months of financial year 2014−15.

Soumaya Keynes, a Research Economist at the IFS, said:

“Today’s figures indicate that the government enjoyed a strong surplus in January 2015, with total revenues exceeding public spending by £8.8billion. In part this was driven by strong growth in VAT and corporation tax receipts, which has helped to offset the fact that receipts from self-assessment income tax, while stronger than January 2014, appear to have been weaker than expected by the Office for Budget Responsibility in December. Over the year so far overall tax receipts and overall public spending have grown broadly as expected by the OBR for the year as a whole. Borrowing this year therefore looks likely to come in close to the £91.3 billion forecast by the OBR.” 

Headline Comparisons

Central government current receipts (excluding the asset purchase facility) were forecast to increase by 3.5% between 2013–14 and 2014–15 by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) in its December 2014 EconomicandFiscalOutlook. This forecast implies that revenues are expected to be 4.3% higher during the last five months of the financial year (November 2014 to March 2015) than in the same months last year.

Today’s figures suggest that receipts in January 2015 were 4.3% higher than in January 2014, in line with the OBR’s forecasts for the final five months of the financial year. For the year to date, the receipts outturns are also in line with the OBR’s forecast of 3.5% growth for the year as a whole.

Within the total, however, not all taxes are performing as well as was expected back in December 2014. The OBR was expecting strong growth in January’s receipts from self-assessment income tax and capital gains tax. These receipts appear to have disappointed relative to expectations, but this has been offset by stronger than expected growth in other receipts.

Central government current spending was 0.1% lower in January 2015 than in the same month last year. Over the first 10 months of 2014–15, spending has been 1.4% higher than over the same months in 2013–14. This is lower growth than was expected by the OBR back in December 2014, which was for growth of 1.6% over the year as a whole and 1.4% growth during the final five months of the financial year relative to the same months of last year.

Public sector net investment totalled £3.4bn in January 2015, which was £0.7bn more than was spent in January 2014. Public sector net investment between April 2014 and January 2015 was £19.2bn, which is 10.2% higher than in the same ten months of 2013−14. The OBR’s latest forecast was that net investment in 2014–15 would be £27.7bn, or 7.5% above last year’s level.

What would happen if these trends continued?

  • Public sector net borrowing during the first 10 months of 2014−15 was £74.0bn, which is 7.5% (£6.0bn) lower than the amount borrowed during the same period last year. If this rate of decline were to continue for the remainder of this financial year, borrowing for the whole of financial year 2014−15 would be about £90.0bn, £7.3bn less than was borrowed in 2013–14. This fall in borrowing would be slightly larger than the £6.0bn fall forecast by the OBR in its December 2014 Economic and Fiscal Outlook.

Important figures this month

  • January is an important month for the public finances, as around a quarter of all revenues from corporation tax are paid in that month. Corporation tax receipts so far this year have risen more quickly than the OBR expected: on a cash basis they been 6.5% higher over the first ten months of 2014–15 than over the same months in 2013–14. This is much faster growth than the 3.9% forecast by the OBR for the year as a whole; if current trends were to continue, then corporation tax receipts might come in as much as £1 billion higher than was expected by the OBR in December.
  • This January was a particularly important month for self-assessment income tax receipts. The OBR was expecting strong growth due to individuals shifting income to avoid the 50p top rate of income tax. However, while self-assessment income tax receipts in January 2015 were substantially higher than in the same month of 2014, they were not as high as was expected by the OBR at the time they made their December forecasts. The outturn of a 15.6% increase since last January compares to a forecast 22.9% increase for the last five months of 2014–15. However, this year the deadline for submitting one’s self-assessment tax receipts fell on a Saturday, which means that there is a chance that an unusually large proportion of self-assessment income tax receipts may arrive in February. Next month’s data will give a better idea of what has happened to this tax.  

Further Analysis

Information is now available for the first ten months of financial year 2014−15. Figures for receipts and spending in January 2015 show:

Central government current receipts

Accrued receipts from Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax and National Insurance Contributions for January 2015 were 5.0% higherthan in the same month last year. The OBR’s December 2014 forecasts imply that the receipts from these taxes will be 3.1% up on last year’s levels over the whole year and 4.6% up over the period from November 2014 to March 2015. Together, the receipts for these taxes during the first ten months of 2014−15 were 2.8% higherthan those for the same months of 2013−14, while receipts for the period November 2014 to January 2015 were 4.7% higher than over the same period in 2013−14.

Cash Corporation Tax receipts for January 2015 were 12.1% higherthan the same month last year. The OBR’s December 2014 forecasts imply that the receipts from this tax will be 3.9% up on last year’s levels over the whole year and 3.2% up over the period from November 2014 to March 2015. Corporation Tax receipts during the first 10 months of 2014−15 were 6.5% higher than in the same months of 2013−14, while receipts for November 2014 to January 2015 were 11.1% higher than the same three months of 2013−14.

Accrued receipts of VAT in January 2015 were 2.1% higher than the same month last year. Together, accrued VAT receipts during the first ten months of 2014−15 were 4.0% higherthan those for the first ten months of 2013−14, while receipts for November 2014 to January 2015 were 3.2% higher than the same three months of 2013−14. The OBR’s December 2014 forecasts imply that the receipts from this tax will be 3.1% up on last year’s levels over the whole year and 1.3% up over the period from November 2014 to March 2015.

Figure 1 below shows the implied £bn change in receipts over the year to date, with a simple extrapolation for the final two months of the year. The grey bars show the increase implied by the OBR’s December forecasts for each tax. Comparing the bars shows which of the major taxes have been underperforming and overperforming relative to expectations back in December. It shows how self-assessment tax receipts and NICs have been increasing less quickly than expected, though this has been offset by growth in PAYE income tax, VAT and Corporation tax. 

 

 

Central government current spending

Expenditure on net social benefits was 1.5% higher in January 2015 than in January 2014. Expenditure during the first ten months of 2014−15 was 2.6% higher than in the same months of 2013−14, while spending in November 2014 to January 2015 was 2.4% higher than in the same three months of 2013−14. The latest OBR forecast implies that this spending will be 3.1% up on last year’s levels over the whole year, and 3.7% up over the period from November 2014 to March 2015.

Spending on debt interest was £2.9bn in January 2015, £0.8bn less than in January 2014. Total spending on debt interest between April 2014 and January 2015 was £30.2bn. In December 2014, the OBR forecast that total debt interest spending by central government in 2014–15 would be £48.1bn.

Other current spending by central government, including spending on the delivery of public services, was 1.4% higher in January 2015 than in January 2016. Expenditure between April 2014 and January 2015 was 1.1% higher than in the same months of 2013−14, while spending between November 2014 and January 2015 was 0.6% higher than the same months in 2013−14. The OBR’s December 2014 forecast implies that this spending will be 1.2% up on last year’s levels over the whole year and 1.0% up over the period from November 2014 to March 2015.

In January 2015 public sector net investment was £3.4bn, £0.7bn more than was spent in January 2014. So far in 2014−15, a total of £19.2bn has been spent on public sector net investment, compared to the £17.4bn that had been spent by the same point in 2013−14. The latest OBR forecast is that net investment in 2014−15 will be £27.7bn, which is 7.4% above last year’s level.

Further information and contacts

For further information on today’s public finance release please contact: Soumaya Keynes or Gemma Tetlow on 020 7291 4800, or email soumaya_k@ifs.org.uk or gemma_t@ifs.org.uk.

Next month’s public finances release is due to be published on Wednesday 21st March 2014.

Relevant links:

This, and previous editions of this press release, can be downloaded from http://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/browse?type=pf

Office for National Statistics & HM Treasury, Public Sector Finances, January 2014: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/psa/public-sector-finances/january-2014/stb---january-2014.html

Office for Budget Responsibility analysis of monthly Public Sector Finances, January 2014: http://budgetresponsibility.independent.gov.uk/category/topics/monthly-public-finance-data/

Useful links and background information on Autumn Statement 2013 can be found at:  http://www.ifs.org.uk/projects/423

Office for Budget Responsibility, Economic and Fiscal Outlook, December 2013: http://budgetresponsibility.org.uk/economic-fiscal-outlook-december-2013/

HM Treasury Autumn Statement 2013: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/autumn-statement-2013

 

 

Notes to Editors:

  1. Central government current spending includes depreciation.
  2. Where possible we compare figures on an accruals basis with the Office for Budget Responsibility forecast.

 

]]>
http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/7599 Fri, 20 Feb 2015 00:00:00 +0000
<![CDATA[IFS public finance bulletin: January 2015]]> Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances December 2014. We now have details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the first nine months of financial year 2014−15.

Soumaya Keynes, a Research Economist at the IFS, said:

“Borrowing in December 2014 was £2.9 billion higher than in December 2013. However, the increase is entirely explained by a one-off payment to the European Union of £2.9 billion becoming due; part of which is expected to be offset by later rebates. Over the last nine months borrowing has not fallen as quickly as the OBR are expecting for the year as a whole but there are a number of reasons to think that their forecast will still prove correct – not least that receipts of self-assessment income tax in January are expected to be much higher than they were last year. Next month’s figures will shed considerably more light on the likely outturn for the year as a whole.”

Headline Comparisons

  • Central government current receipts in December were 2.3% higher than in the same month last year. The latest figures also show an increase relative to last year’s level of 2.3% for the year to date, with an increase of 4.5% in November and December compared to the same two months in 2013. This is slightly slower growth than forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) in its latest Economic and Fiscal Outlook, published last month. At that time, the OBR forecast an increase in receipts relative to last year’s levels of 3.2% for the year as a whole and an increase of 5.1% for the period from November 2014 to March 2015.

    However, the latest outturns are distorted by differences in the timing of transfers to central government from the Asset Purchase Facility. Excluding these transfers still suggests that revenues have grown more slowly so far this year than projected for the year as a whole but to a lesser extent than the headline figures suggest. The OBR is expecting strong growth in receipts over the final three months of the financial year. This is because there is expected to be an unusually high level of receipts from self-assessment income tax as a result of high income individuals having adjusted their behaviour in order to take advantage of the drop in the top rate of income tax (from 50p to 45p) in April 2013.
  • Central government current spending in December was 5.0% higher than in the same month last year, though this was largely driven by a one-off £2.9 billion contribution to the European Commission budget becoming due. The OBR’s latest forecast implies an increase relative to last year’s level of 1.6% for the year as a whole and of 1.2% for the period from November 2014 to March 2015.The latest figures show slightly faster growth of 2.1% for the year to date, with an increase of 2.8% in November and December 2014 compared to the same two months in 2013. However, the OBR expects some of this to unwind in the last few months of this financial year, as the payment to the EU is partially refunded, and as spending on debt interest is expected to fall.
  • Public sector net investment in December was £2.9 billion, £0.6 billion more than was spent in December 2013. Public sector net investment between April 2014 and December 2014 was £16.1 billion, which is 9.5% higher than in the same nine months of 2013. The OBR’s latest forecast was that net investment in 2014–15 would be £27.7 billion, which is 7.4% above last year’s level.

What would happen if these trends continued?

  • Public sector net borrowing during the first nine months of 2014–15 was £86.3 billion, which is 0.1% below the amount borrowed during the same months in 2013–14. If this trend were to continue for the remaining three months of the financial year, borrowing for the whole of 2014–15 would come in at £97.1bn. This is around £6bn higher than forecast by the OBR in its December 2014 Economic and Fiscal Outlook forecast.
  • However, there are reasons to think that borrowing will turn out lower than this simple extrapolation suggests. Borrowing during the year up to December was increased by the one-off distortions mentioned above, and is expected to be reduced in the remaining months due to the differences in the timing of self assessment income tax receipts. Tax payments are not received evenly throughout the year and January tends to be the month with the single highest level of receipts; the information released in next month’s public finances press release will, therefore, be very informative about the state of the public finances. 

Further Analysis

We should be cautious of inferring or extrapolating likely outcomes over the financial year as a whole from information on only the first nine months, particularly as some factors are likely to affect the profile of receipts and spending differently in 2014–15 than in 2013–14. However, bearing this in mind, the figures for receipts and spending in December 2014 show:

Central government current receipts

Accrued receipts from income tax, capital gains tax and National Insurance contributions for December 2014 were 2.1% higherthan in the same month last year. The latest OBR forecasts imply that the receipts from these taxes will be 3.1% up on last year’s levels over the whole year and 3.6% up over the period from November 2014 to March 2015. Together, the receipts for these taxes during the first nine months of 2014−15 were 2.1% higherthan those for the same months of 2013−14, while the receipts for November and December 2014 were 3.6% higher than the same two months of 2013.

Accrued receipts of VAT in December 2014 were 0.9% lowerthan the same month last year. This rather weak growth may in part reflect Black Friday leading to consumer purchases being brought forward from December to November: VAT receipts grew strongly in November, with receipts being 4.8% higher than in November 2013. Taking November and December together, VAT receipts were 1.9% higher in these two month in 2014 than in 2013. The OBR’s Autumn Statement forecasts imply that the receipts from this tax will be 3.1% up on last year’s levels over the whole year and 1.6% up over the period from November 2014 to March 2015. Together, accrued VAT receipts during the first nine months of 2014−15 were 3.6% higherthan those for the first nine months of 2013−14.

Cash corporation tax receipts for December 2014 were 12.1% higherthan the same month last year. However, only a small fraction of annual corporation tax payments are received in December. The OBR’s Autumn Statement forecasts imply that the receipts from this tax will be 3.9% up on last year’s levels over the whole year and 9.4% up over the period from November 2014 to March 2015. Corporation tax receipts between April and December 2014 were 5.0% higherthan in the same months of 2013, while receipts for November and December 2014 were 9.4% higher than the same two months of 2013. A clearer picture for Corporation Tax receipts this year will emerge next month when figures for receipts in January 2015, which is normally a significant month for these receipts, are published.

Central government current spending

Expenditure on net social benefits was 3.2% higher in December 2014 than in December 2013. Expenditure between April and December 2014 was 2.8% higher than in the same months of 2013, while spending in November and December 2014 was 3.0% higher than in the same two months of 2014. The latest OBR forecast implies that this spending will be 3.1% up on last year’s levels over the whole year and 3.7% up over the period from November 2014 to March 2015.

Spending on debt interest was £3.9 billion in December 2014, £0.3 billion more than in December 2013. Total spending on debt interest between April and December 2014 was £38.4 billion. Last month the OBR forecast that total debt interest spending by central government in 2014–15 would be £48.1 billion.

Other current spending by central government, including spending on the delivery of public services, was 5.4% higher in December 2014 than in December 2013. The OBR’s Autumn Statement forecast implies that this spending will be 1.2% higher than last year’s levels over the whole year and 0.7% higher over the period from November 2014 to March 2015. Expenditure between April and December 2014 was 2.0% higher than in the same months of 2013, while spending in November and December 2014 was 3.1% higher than in the same two months of 2013. However, these comparisons should be treated with caution as the timing of departmental spending can change, distorting the overall spending growth rates. Furthermore, the OBR expects this component of spending to be depressed by a refund from the European Commission at some point in the last three months of this financial year.

Further information and contacts

For further information on today’s public finance release please contact: Soumaya Keynes or Gemma Tetlow on 020 7291 4800, or email soumaya_k@ifs.org.uk or g.tetlow@ifs.org.uk.

Next month’s public finances release is due to be published on Friday 20th February 2015.

The IFS Green Budget – analysing the issues and challenges facing George Osborne as he prepares for the coalition government’s final Budget of this parliament – will be launched at the University of London’s Senate House on Wednesday 4th February 2015. The 2015 Green Budget, in association with ICAEW and funded by the Nuffield Foundation, will incorporate analysis of global and UK economies produced by analysts from Oxford Economics. For more details see http://www.ifs.org.uk/events/1110.

 

Relevant links:

This, and previous editions of this press release, can be downloaded from http://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/browse?type=pf

Office for National Statistics & HM Treasury, Public Sector Finances, December 2014: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/psa/public-sector-finances/december-2014/stb-dec-2014.html

Office for Budget Responsibility analysis of monthly Public Sector Finances, December 2014: http://budgetresponsibility.independent.gov.uk/category/topics/monthly-public-finance-data/

Useful links and background information on Autumn Statement 2014 can be found at:  http://www.ifs.org.uk/tools_and_resources/budget/498

Office for Budget Responsibility, Economic and Fiscal Outlook, December 2014: http://budgetresponsibility.org.uk/economic-fiscal-outlook-december-2014/

HM Treasury Autumn Statement 2014: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/autumn-statement-2014

ENDS

 

Notes to Editors:

1. Central government current spending includes depreciation.

2. Where possible we compare figures on an accruals basis with the Office for Budget Responsibility forecast. 

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http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/7532 Thu, 22 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0000
<![CDATA[IFS public finance bulletin: November 2014]]> Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances, October 2014. We now have details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the first seven months of the financial year 2014–15.

Soumaya Keynes, a Research Economist at the IFS, said:

 “With the Autumn Statement only just over a week away, the Chancellor may be disappointed that this month’s figures continue to show that borrowing this year is higher than over the same months of last year, in contrast to the Budget forecast that borrowing would fall by £11 billion over the year as a whole. In part this gloomy picture is the result of timing effects that will unwind later in the year. However, it likely also reflects weaker than forecast earnings growth, which has depressed revenues from income tax and national insurance, adding to an already large deficit.”

Headline Comparisons

  • The big picture is largely unchanged. As the figure shows, borrowing so far in 2014–15 has been higher than over the same months of 2013–14, by 6.1%. This compares to a forecast fall back in March of around £11 billion over the year as a whole, or 11.8%. The absence of a decline in borrowing over the first seven months of this year appears to have been driven by a combination of weaker receipts and higher spending than forecast. However, one should be cautious about comparing outturns with the March forecasts because of major accounting changes since then.

  • Revenues from income tax to underperform. These receipts have fallen by 0.4% over the year to date, which is disappointing compared to a forecast increase over the year as a whole of 5.8%. Some of this weakness should be reversed in January, as self-assessment receipts are boosted due to reverse-forestalling in response to the April 2013 reduction in the top rate of income tax. However, the rest is likely to reflect underlying weakness in earnings growth and the Office for Budget Responsibility has suggested that income tax receipts will be more likely to undershoot than overshoot expectations.  
  • Revenues from NICs, the other main direct tax on incomes, are also underperforming relative to expectations. Over the first seven months of this financial year, NICs revenues have increased by 1.9%, compared to a forecast in March of 2.5%. The picture is not as bad as for income tax, but is lacklustre nonetheless and, unlike for income tax, no particular bounce-back is expected in January.
  • Relatively strong growth in other receipts is offsetting the weak growth in the major taxes on incomes. October is an important month for corporation tax receipts. Compared to October last year, corporation tax receipts are up by 1.8%. While this is low compared to the OBR’s forecast growth for the year as whole, strong growth in earlier months means that, for the year to date, corporation tax receipts are growing more strongly than forecast, by 4.2% compared to a forecast of 3.1%. 

 

Changes to borrowing definitions

  • Significant accounting changes introduced in September mean that the figures for borrowing that will be presented in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement on 4th December will not be directly comparable to the headline figures presented in the March Budget.
  • There are fairly significant differences between alternative measures, but it is important to understand that the accounting changes reflect no change to the underlying strength of the public finances, simply a difference in how they are measured. In order to understand any underlying trends, one has to compare numbers on consistent bases.
  • In the Autumn Statement, the OBR will present forecasts for borrowing using the new definitions and are likely to present these figures both including and excluding the effects of the Asset Purchase Facility (APF). At the time of the March Budget, the OBR estimated that (using the new definitions) borrowing would be £86.6 billion this year including the APF, or £99.1 billion excluding the APF.

Further information and contacts

For further information on today’s public finance release please contact: Carl Emmerson, Soumaya Keynes or Gemma Tetlow on 020 7291 4800 or email carl_emmerson@ifs.org.uk, soumaya_k@ifs.org.uk or gemma_t@ifs.org.uk.

Next month’s public finances release is due to be published on Friday 19th December.

Relevant links:

This, and previous editions of this press release, can be downloaded from http://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/pf

Office for National Statistics & HM Treasury, Public Sector Finances, October 2014: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/psa/public-sector-finances/october-2014/index.html

Office for Budget Responsibility analysis of monthly Public Sector Finances, November 2014: http://budgetresponsibility.independent.gov.uk/category/topics/monthly-public-finance-data/

Office for Budget Responsibility, Economic and Fiscal Outlook, March 2014: http://budgetresponsibility.org.uk/economic-fiscal-outlook-march-2014/

 

 

Notes to Editors:

1. All the outturn figures presented in this press release incorporate changes to the definition of some components of revenues and spending, and borrowing and debt that were implemented by the Office for National Statistics last month. The OBR will not produce forecasts on this new basis until their next Economic and Fiscal Outlook (EFO), which is scheduled to be published on December 3rd. However, in their March 2014 EFO the OBR produced estimates of what they expected their forecasts for the headline measures of borrowing and debt would be under the new definitions. Where possible we therefore compare the published outturn data from the ONS with these illustrative projections.

2. All figures are on a basis that excludes public sector banks.

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http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/7453 Fri, 21 Nov 2014 00:00:00 +0000
<![CDATA[IFS public finance bulletin: October 2014]]> Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances, September 2014. We now have details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the half of financial year 2014–15.

Rowena Crawford, a Senior Research Economist at the IFS, said:

"Today’s figures are disappointing. Borrowing over the first half of this financial year has been higher than over the same period last year, despite being forecast to fall over the year as a whole by the Office for Budget Responsibility. This largely reflects weakness in receipts from income tax and National Insurance contributions. In part this will be the result of temporary timing effects that will unwind towards the end of this year. But part will reflect lower-than-expected earnings growth so far this year which, unless earnings bounce back, will permanently reduce receipts from these taxes and add to an already large deficit."

Headline Comparisons

  • The illustrative projection from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) at the time of the March 2014 EFO was that borrowing would fall by £11.6 billion (11.8%) from £98.2 billion in 2013–14 to £86.6 billion in 2014–15. Even if this fall in borrowing were achieved, borrowing in 2014–15 would still be high by historical standards. The latest estimate of last year’s borrowing now stands at £98.0 billion, slightly lower than what the OBR thought in March
  • In contrast to the OBR’s predicted fall in public sector net borrowing over the year as a whole, over the first half of 2014–15 it has been 10.3% higher than over the first half of 2013–14 (£58.0 billion compared to £52.6 billion).
  • Taken at face value, this suggests that borrowing will be higher over this financial year than last, not lower as the OBR’s projections suggest. However, we should be cautious of drawing this conclusion on the basis of headline data for half of the year, not least because there are a number of factors that are known to affect the timing of borrowing this year compared to last.
  • The relatively high levels of borrowing so far this year have predominantly been driven by weak growth in receipts from income tax and National Insurance contributions (with, as the OBR points out, weak property transactions and revenues from North Sea oil and gas also disappointing). Income tax receipts so far this year are only 0.1% higher than over the same period last year, compared to the OBR’s March forecast of 5.8% growth for the year as a whole, while NICs receipts have only been 1.0% higher, compared to the OBR’s March forecast of 2.5% for the year as a whole.
  • A significant part of the low growth in NICs and income tax receipts so far this year is due to timing effects that will unwind later in the financial year. The drop in the top rate of income tax from 50p to 45p in April 2013 induced some high income individuals to shift income (and thus their tax liabilities) from 2012–13 into 2013–14. Where income tax is paid through PAYE this will have boosted receipts in the first few months of 2013–14 (making a comparison between the early months of 2014–15 with the same months of 2013–14 appear weak), while where income tax is paid through self-assessment the shift in income from 2012–13 to 2013–14 will depress self-assessment receipts due in January 2014 and boost receipts due in January 2015 (and therefore we can look forward to strong growth in income tax receipts this January).
  • More worryingly for the underlying health of the public finances is that part of the relatively poor performance of income tax and NICs receipts will be the result of lower-than-expected earnings growth so far this year than the OBR assumed at the time of its March 2014 forecasts (this has been noted by the OBR in its recent months’ press releases). Indeed OBR Chairman Robert Chote last week said that the government was “more likely to be disappointed than over-achieve on income tax receipts this year”. Unless earnings bounce back over the coming months this on its own will add to an already high deficit.

Further information and contacts

For further information on today’s public finance release please contact: Rowena Crawford on 020 7291 4800 or email rowena_c@ifs.org.uk.

Next month’s public finances release is due to be published on Friday 21 November.

Relevant links

This, and previous editions of this press release, can be downloaded from http://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/pf

Office for National Statistics & HM Treasury, Public Sector Finances, September 2014: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/psa/public-sector-finances/september-2014/index.html

Office for Budget Responsibility analysis of monthly Public Sector Finances, September 2014: http://budgetresponsibility.independent.gov.uk/category/topics/monthly-public-finance-data/

Office for Budget Responsibility, Economic and Fiscal Outlook, March 2014: http://budgetresponsibility.org.uk/economic-fiscal-outlook-march-2014/

Notes to Editors

1. All the outturn figures presented in this press release incorporate changes to the definition of some components of revenues and spending, and borrowing and debt that were implemented by the Office for National Statistics last month. The OBR will not produce forecasts on this new basis until their next Economic and Fiscal Outlook (EFO), which is scheduled to be published on December 3rd. However, in their March 2014 EFO the OBR produced estimates of what they expected their forecasts for the headline measures of borrowing and debt would be under the new definitions. Where possible we therefore compare the published outturn data from the ONS with these illustrative projections.

2. All figures are on a basis that excludes public sector banks.

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http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/7407 Tue, 21 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: September 2014]]> Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances, August 2014. We now have details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the first five months of financial year 2014–15.

Soumaya Keynes, a Research Economist at the IFS, said:

“Today’s figures are the first to include significant methodological changes, such as the incorporation of network rail into the public sector. However, these are essentially accounting changes and do not fundamentally affect the strength of the public finances. This month’s figures show a similar big picture to those last month, with borrowing so far this year being higher than it was over the same period last year. This largely reflects weakness in National Insurance contributions and income tax receipts. In part this may be the result of lower than expected earnings growth so far this year, but it is also due to temporary timing effects that are expected to unwind towards the end of this year.”

Introductory note

The figures published by the ONS today are the first that incorporate changes to the definition of some components of public revenues and spending, and borrowing and debt. Further details on the impact of these changes on measures of the public finances can be found in ONS’ statistical bulletin Public Sector Finances (http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/psa/public-sector-finances/august-2014/index.html).

In this press release we focus on what the figures published today indicate about the strength of the public finances. All the outturn figures are presented on the basis of the new definitions. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) will not produce forecasts on this basis until their December 2014 Economic and Fiscal Outlook (EFO). However, in their March 2014 EFO the OBR produced estimates of what they expected their forecasts for the headline measures of borrowing and debt would be under the new definitions. Where possible we therefore compare the published outturn data from the ONS with these illustrative projections.

Headline Comparisons

  • The illustrative projection from the OBR at the time of the March 2014 EFO was that borrowing would fall by £11.6 billion (11.8%) from £98.2 billion in 2013–14 to £86.6 billion in 2014–15. The latest estimate of last year’s borrowing now stands at £99.3 billion, slightly higher than what the OBR thought in March
  • In contrast to the OBR’s predicted fall in public sector net borrowing over the year as a whole, over five months April to August 2014 it has been 6.2% higher than over the same months in 2013 (£45.4 billion compared to £42.8 billion).
  • Taken at face value, this suggests that borrowing will be higher over this financial year than last, not lower as the OBR’s projections suggest. However, we should be cautious of drawing this conclusion on the basis of data for only five months of the year, not least because there are a number of factors that are known to affect the timing of borrowing this year compared to last.
  • The relatively high levels of borrowing so far this year have predominantly been driven by weak growth in National Insurance contributions and income tax receipts. NICs receipts over April to August 2014 were 0.2% lower than over the same months of 2013, compared to the OBR’s March forecast of 2.5% growth over the year as a whole, while Income tax receipts so far this year have fallen by 0.8% compared to a forecast of 5.8% for the year as a whole.
  • Some of the low growth in NICs and income tax receipts so far this year is due to a timing effect that will unwind later in the financial year. The drop in the top rate of income tax from 50p to 45p in April 2013 induced some high income individuals to shift income (and thus their tax liabilities) from 2012–13 into 2013–14. This will have the effect of boosting tax receipts in the early months of last year (making a comparison between the early months of 2014–15 with the early months of 2013–14 look weak), but it is also expected to boost receipts later in this financial year through self-assessment tax payments in respect of income earned in 2013–14.
  • However, there might still be some cause for concern as the OBR has also noted in their last two months’ press releases that earnings growth has been lower so far this year than was assumed in their March 2014 forecasts. This weaker earnings growth will tend to depress receipts of income tax and NICs relative to their March forecast, and could mean that not all the weakness in receipts will be reversed over the rest of this financial year.

Further information and contacts

For further information on today’s public finance release please contact: Rowena Crawford, Soumaya Keynes or Gemma Tetlow on 020 7291 4800, or email rowena_c@ifs.org.uk, soumaya_k@ifs.org.uk or gemma_t@ifs.org.uk.

Next month’s public finances release is due to be published on Tuesday 21st October.

Relevant links:

This, and previous editions of this press release, can be downloaded from http://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/pf

Office for National Statistics & HM Treasury, Public Sector Finances, August 2014: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/psa/public-sector-finances/august-2014/index.html

Office for Budget Responsibility analysis of monthly Public Sector Finances, August 2014: http://budgetresponsibility.independent.gov.uk/category/topics/monthly-public-finance-data/

Office for Budget Responsibility, Economic and Fiscal Outlook, March 2014: http://budgetresponsibility.org.uk/economic-fiscal-outlook-march-2014/

Notes to Editors:

 All figures are on a basis that excludes public sector banks.

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http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/7379 Tue, 23 Sep 2014 00:00:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: August 2014]]> Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances July 2014. We now have details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the first four months of financial year 2014–15.

Headline Comparisons

  • Central government current receipts in July were 3.3% higher than in the same month last year, excluding the impact of transfers related to the Asset Purchase Facility (APF). Taking receipts over April to July together, these were 2.1% higher than in the same four months of 2013. This is lower than the 5.0% growth forecast for the year as a whole by the OBR at the time of the March 2014 Budget, but there is good reason to believe that the average growth in receipts will be higher over the remainder of the financial year. Receipts in the early months of last year were particularly high for two reasons. First, the Exchequer received £0.9 billion from a tax on Swiss bank accounts. Second, some high income individuals responded to the reduction in the top rate of income tax in April 2013 by shifting income from the 2012–13 tax year into 2013–14. These have the effect of depressing the growth in receipts in the early months of 2014–15, and the latter will tend to boost growth in income tax receipts in the final three months of this year.
  • Central government current spending in July was 2.0% higher than in the same month last year, and taking the first four months of this financial year together, spending has been 1.3% higher than in the same months of 2013. This is lower growth in spending than the 2.0% increase forecast by the OBR in March for the year as a whole.
  • Public sector net investment in July was £1.7 billion, the same as was spent in July last year. Together, public sector net investment between April and July 2014 has been £5.9 billion. This is £0.7 billion higher than over the same four months in 2013. The OBR’s March 2014 forecast was for net investment over the whole of 2014–15 to be £27.9 billion, which is 12.9% above last year’s level (£24.7 billion).
  • Public sector net borrowing in July was £0.8 billion, around half of the £1.6 billion borrowed in the same month of last year once cash flows relating to the APF are excluded. Borrowing is lower in July than in many other months of the year because it is one of the four months of the year when a large proportion of corporation tax payments are made (the others being April, October and January). Excluding APF transfers, borrowing for the first four months of this financial year has been 7.8% higher than over the same period last year. This compares to the 11.4% fall in borrowing forecast for the year as a whole by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) in March 2014. However, the comparison between borrowing over the first four months of this year and last year is affected by the unusually high receipts of income tax and from the Swiss capital tax in the early months of 2013–14 mentioned above. Over the rest of the financial year the comparison between borrowing this year and last is likely to look more favourable. 

 

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http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/7335 Thu, 21 Aug 2014 00:00:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: July 2014]]> Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances June 2014. We now have details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the first three months of financial year 2014–15.

Headline Comparisons

  • Central government current receipts in June were 4.7% higher than in the same month last year, excluding the impact of transfers related to the Asset Purchase Facility (APF). Taking receipts over April to June together, these were 1.6% higher than in the same three months of 2013. This is lower than the 5.0% growth forecast for the year as a whole by the OBR at the time of the March 2014 Budget, but there is good reason to believe that the average growth in receipts will be higher over the remainder of the financial year. Receipts in the early months of last year were particularly high for two reasons. First, the Exchequer received £0.9 billion from a tax on Swiss bank accounts. Second, some high income individuals responded to the reduction in the top rate of income tax in April 2013 by shifting income from the 2012–13 tax year into 2013–14. These have the effect of depressing the growth in receipts in the early months of 2014–15.
  • Central government current spending in June was 4.0% higher than in the same month last year, and taking the first three months of this financial year together, spending has been 1.0% higher than in the same months of 2013. This is lower growth in spending than the 2.0% increase forecast by the OBR in March for the year as a whole.
  • Public sector net investment in June was £1.5 billion, £0.4 billion more than was spent in June last year. Together, public sector net investment between April and June 2014 has been £4.3 billion. This is £1.0 billion higher than over the same three months in 2013. The OBR’s March 2014 forecast was for net investment over the whole of 2014–15 to be £27.9 billion, which is 12.8% above last year’s level (£24.7 billion).
  • Public sector net borrowing in June was £11.4 billion, similar to the £11.5 billion borrowed in the same month of last year once cash flows relating to the APF are excluded. On the same basis borrowing for the first three months of this financial year has been 7.3% higher than over the same period last year. This compares unfavourably with the 11.4% fall in borrowing forecast for the year as a whole by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) in March 2014, but the comparison between borrowing this year and last is also affected by the unusually high receipts from taxes on high income individuals and from the Swiss capital tax in the early months of 2013–14. Over the rest of the financial year the comparison between borrowing this year and last is likely to look more favourable.
]]>
http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/7290 Tue, 22 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: June 2014]]> Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances May 2014. We now have details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the first two months of financial year 2014–15.

Headline Comparisons

  • Public sector net borrowing in May was £13.3bn, £4.6bn higher than in the same month of last year. However, excluding cash flows relating to the APF, this difference falls to £0.7bn, and underlying borrowing actually fell slightly when we take into account that in May 2013 receipts experienced a one-off boost of £0.9bn from the Swiss Tax agreement. Also on this basis, borrowing for the first two months of this financial year is higher than the average growth for the year forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) in the March 2014 Budget. The increase in borrowing of 4.5% compared to the same two months last year compares unfavourably to the forecast for the year as a whole, of a fall of 11.5%. However, with ten months of the financial year left, there is still not enough evidence to suggest that borrowing will necessarily turn out to be significantly different from the OBR’s forecast.
  • Central government current receipts in May were 3.3% higher than in the same month last year, excluding the impact of transfers related to the Asset Purchase Facility and receipts from the Swiss Tax agreement. This monthly growth has offset the fall in receipts seen last month, such that receipts in April and May together were 1.5% higher than in the same months of 2013. Growth in receipts over the rest of the year will need to pick up if the OBR’s March 2014 forecast of 5.4% growth for the year as a whole is to be correct. There is good reason to think that they will – receipts in 2013–14 were particularly concentrated in the earlier months of the year, as some high income individuals responded to the reduction in the top rate of income tax that happened in April 2013. As the profile of receipts returns to ‘normal’, we can expect the growth in receipts to increase.
  • Central government current spending in May was 0.4% higher than in the same month last year. This slightly offset the fall in spending seen last month, though taking the first two months of this financial year together, spending has been 0.6% lower than in the same months of 2013. This is lower growth in spending than the 2.0% increase forecast by the OBR in March for the year as a whole.
  • Public sector net investment in May was £1.5bn, £0.5bn more than was spent in May last year. Together, public sector net investment during April and May 2014 has been £2.8bn. This is £0.5bn higher than over the same months in 2013. The OBR’s forecast at the time of the March 2014 Budget predicted that net investment over the whole of 2014–15 would be £27.9 billion, which is 12.8% above last year’s level (£3.2bn).
]]>
http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/7244 Fri, 20 Jun 2014 00:00:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: May 2014]]> Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances April 2014. We now have details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the first month of financial year 2014–15 and revised outturns for the whole of financial year 2013–14.

Headline Comparisons

  • The public sector current budget in 2013–14 is now estimated to have been in deficit by £82.9bn, excluding the impact of transfers related to the Asset Purchase Facility. This is almost exactly the same as the initial estimated outturn published last month of a deficit of £82.8bn and somewhat lower than the Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR’s) forecast from the March 2014 Budget of a £83.7bn deficit. The OBR’s March 2014 forecast is for the public sector current budget deficit to fall to £67.6bn this financial year.
  • Public sector net borrowing in 2013–14 is now estimated to have been £107.4bn excluding the impact of transfers related to the Asset Purchase Facility, marginally lower than the initial estimated outturn published last month of £107.7bn. The OBR’s March 2014 forecast is for the public sector to borrow £95.5bn this financial year. Borrowing in April 2014 was £11.5bn, which is £1.9bn higher than in April 2013.
  • Public sector net debt at the end of 2013–14 is now estimated to have been £1,271.9bn, or 76.0% of national income. The OBR’s March 2014 forecast is that this will rise to 77.3% by the end of this financial year.
  • Central government current receipts were forecast to increase by 3.2% between 2013–14 and 2014–15 by the OBR in its March 2014 EconomicandFiscalOutlook, adjusting for the effects of the Asset Purchase Facility. This forecast growth is higher than the growth in receipts in April 2014 compared to the same month last year, which actually fell by 0.8%. This fall is largely driven by weak receipts of income and capital gains tax, most likely reflecting the fact that receipts in April 2013 were artificially boosted by individuals shifting their income to avoid the 50p tax rate that applied until the end of March 2013. With 11 months left of the financial year still to come, there is as yet little reason to think that the OBR’s forecast for the year as a whole will be incorrect.
  • Central government current spending in April was 1.0% lower than in April last year, in contrast to the 1.9% increase forecast by the OBR for the year as a whole.
  •  Public sector net investment in April was £1.3bn, the same as was spent in April 2013. The OBR’s forecast at the time of the March 2014 Budget was that net investment over the whole of 2014–15 would be £27.9bn, 13.9% above last year’s level.
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http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/7212 Thu, 22 May 2014 00:00:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: April 2014 ]]> Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances March 2014. 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 2013−14.

Headline Comparisons

  • Public sector net borrowing, excluding the impact of transfers related to the Asset Purchase Facility, totalled £107.7bn in 2013−14. This is essentially as was forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) in their March 2014 Economic and Fiscal Outlook (£107.8bn), and is £7.5bn lower than the £115.1bn borrowed in 2012–13.

  • Public sector net investment was £24.9bn in 2013−14, which was £0.8bn higher than was forecast by the OBR in March 2014.

  • The public sector current budget deficit in 2013−14 was £82.8bn, excluding the impact of transfers related to the Asset Purchase Facility, which is £0.9bn lower than the £83.7bn forecast by the OBR in March 2014.

  • Underlying public sector net debt at the end of March 2014 stood at 75.8% of national income, which is higher than the 74.5% forecast by the OBR in March, and the 74.2% of national income in March 2013. Including the impact of the financial interventions raises headline public sector net debt to 132.4%.

]]>
http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/7177 Wed, 23 Apr 2014 00:00:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: March 2014 ]]> The figures shown in the table illustrate how receipts and spending in February 2014, and over the eleven months April 2013 to February 2014, compare to receipts and spending over the same period in 2012–13. These are also compared to the growth for the year as a whole forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) in their March 2014 Economic and Fiscal Outlook, which was published on Wednesday. The final column of the table illustrates how much higher/lower spending and receipts in March 2014 would need to be than they were in March 2013 in order for the OBR forecasts for the year as a whole to prove correct – assuming there are no revisions to earlier months’ data.

Table: Receipts and spending in 2013–14 compared to 2012–13

  % change on previous year
  February April to February Full year forecast: Budget 2014 Implied March
Central government current receiptsa 4.9 3.5 3.8 6.8
of which:        
Accrued income tax, capital gains tax and NICs 2.7 3.0 2.5 -2.7
Accrued VAT 5.6 5.2 5.3b 6.3b
Cash Corporation tax 7.3 -0.9 -0.9 -0.7
Central government current spending 7.6 1.8 1.7 0.6
of which:        
Net social benefits 2.5 1.1 1.4 4.9
Debt interest payments -6.7 -0.6 1.8 44.5
Otherc 11.9 2.5 1.9 -4.4
Public sector net investmentd -10.0 28.0 -6.3 -34.0

a Central government current receipts are adjusted for transfers associated with the Asset Purchase Facility.
b Since the March 2014 Budget the OBR has not published a forecast for central government accrued VAT receipts. Therefore this number assumes that the £2.4bn difference between central government accrued VAT and public sector accrued VAT in the Autumn Statement 2013 forecasts for 2012–13 and 2013–14 remain.
c Other central government current spending includes spending by Whitehall departments on the administration and delivery of public services.
d Public sector net investment is adjusted for the effects of the Royal Mail Pension Fund and the receipts from the sale of 4G spectrum licences.

]]> http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/7158 Fri, 21 Mar 2014 00:00:00 +0000 <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: February 2014 ]]> Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances January 2014. We now have details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the first ten months of financial year 2013−14.

Headline Comparisons

  • Central government current receipts were forecast to increase by 4.6% between 2012–13 and 2013–14 by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) in its December 2013 Economic and Fiscal Outlook. This forecast implies that revenues are expected to be 1.2% higher during the last five months of the financial year (November 2013 to March 2014) than in the same months last year.

    Today’s headline figures suggest that receipts in January 2014 were 5.7% lower than in January 2013. This reduction is driven in large part by changes in income from interest and dividends related to the Bank of England’s Asset Purchase Facility (APF), which fell by £3.6 billion, or 83.7%, between January 2013 and January 2014. Underlying receipts were in fact the same in January 2014 relative to the same month last year.

    Over the first 10 months of this financial year, underlying receipts were 3.3% higher in 2013–14 than they were in 2012–13. This compares to an OBR forecast for the year as a whole of 3.6% growth. Therefore, if the rate of growth seen so far were to continue for the rest of the year, receipts would fall short of the OBR’s forecast by £1.3bn.

  • Central government current spending was forecast by the OBR to be 1.9% higher this year than last year. This forecast, made in December 2013, implies that spending during the final five months of this financial year will be 1.1% higher than in the same months last year.

    Today’s figures suggest that central government current spending was 0.6% higher in January 2014 than in the same month last year. Over the first 10 months of 2013–14, spending has been 1.3% higher than over the same months in 2012–13. If this rate of growth were to continue, central government current spending would undershoot the OBR’s forecast by £4.1 billion. However, there are some differences in the timing of payments made by central government this year relative to last year; therefore, some of this apparent undershoot could unwind over the next two months.

  • Public sector net investment totalled £3.2bn in January 2014, which was £0.3bn more than was spent in January 2013. Public sector net investment between April 2013 and January 2014 was £18.4bn, which is 5.8% higher than in the same ten months of 2012−13 (adjusting for the effects of the transfer of Royal Mail pension assets to the public sector). The OBR’s latest forecast was that net investment in 2013–14 would be £24.9bn, or 9.1% above last year’s level.

    ]]> http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/7123 Fri, 21 Feb 2014 00:00:00 +0000 <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: January 2014 ]]> Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances December 2013. We now have details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the nine months of financial year 2013–14.

    Headline Comparisons

    • Central government current receipts in December were 3.0% higher than in the same month last year. The Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR) latest Economic and Fiscal Outlook, published last month, forecast an increase in receipts relative to last year’s levels of 3.6% for the year as a whole and a fall of 1.3% for the period from November 2013 to March 2014 (excluding the impact of transfers related to the Asset Purchase Facility). The latest figures show an increase relative to last year’s level of 4.1% for the year to date, with an increase of 4.0% in November and December compared to the same two months in 2012.

    • Central government current spending in December was 2.6% lower than in the same month last year. The OBR’s latest forecast implies an increase relative to last year’s level of 1.9% for the year as a whole and of 1.2% for the period from November 2013 to March 2014. The latest figures show an increase relative to last year’s level of 1.4% for the year to date, with a decrease of 2.2% in November and December compared to the same two months in 2012.

    • Public sector net investment in December was £2.5bn, £0.2 billion more than was spent in December 2012. Public sector net investment between April 2013 and December 2013 was £15.5bn, which is 6.6% higher than in the same nine months of 2012 (excluding the impact of the transfer of assets from the Royal Mail Pension Plan to the public sector). The OBR’s latest forecast was that net investment in 2013–14 would be £24.9bn, which is 9.6% above last year’s level (excluding the impact of the transfer of the Royal Mail Pension Plan). ]]> http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/7059 Wed, 22 Jan 2014 00:00:00 +0000 <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: December 2013 ]]> Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances November 2013. We now have details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the eight months of financial year 2013–14.

      Headline Comparisons

      • Central government current receipts in November were 4.6% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts between April and November 2013 were 4.0% higher than in the same months of 2012, excluding the impact of transfers related to the Asset Purchase Facility. The Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR’s) latest Economic and Fiscal Outlook, published earlier this month, forecast an increase in receipts relative to last year’s levels of 3.6% for the year as a whole and a fall of 1.1% for the period from November 2013 to March 2014. This forecast growth for the year as a whole is slightly higher than the 2.8% forecast by the OBR at the time of the March 2013 Budget.

      • Central government current spending in November was 1.8% lower than in the same month last year. Spending between April and November 2013 was 1.8% higher than in the same months of 2012. The OBR’s latest forecast implies an increase relative to last year’s level of 1.9% for the year as a whole and of 1.4% for the period from November 2013 to March 2014. This is forecast growth for the year as a whole is largely unchanged from the 2.1% previously forecast by the OBR at the time of the March 2013 Budget.

      • Public sector net investment in November was £2.3 billion, £0.6 billion more than was spent in November last year. Public sector net investment between April and November 2013 has been £13.1bn (excluding the impact of the transfer of assets from the Royal Mail Pension Plan to the public sector), which is 7.2% higher than in the same eight months of 2012. The OBR’s latest forecast was that net investment in 2013–14 would be £24.9bn (excluding the impact of the transfer of assets from the Royal Mail Pension Plan to the public sector), which is 9.8% above last year’s level.

      ]]>
      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/7023 Fri, 20 Dec 2013 00:00:00 +0000
      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: November 2013 ]]> Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances October 2013. We now have details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the seven months of financial year 2013–14.

      Headline Comparisons

      • Central government current receipts in October were 3.2% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts over the seven months April to October were 4.6% higher than in the same months of 2012, excluding the impact of transfers related to the Asset Purchase Facility. The Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR’s) forecast at the time of the March 2013 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2013–14 would be 2.8% above 2012–13 levels

      • Central government current spending in October was 1.2% higher than in the same month last year. Spending over the first seven months of 2013–14 was 2.2% higher than over the same period in 2012–13. The OBR’s forecast at the time of the March 2013 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2013–14 would be 2.0% above 2012–13 levels.

      • Public sector net investment in October was £2.3 billion, £0.5 billion more than was spent in October last year. Together, public sector net investment during the first seven months of 2013–14 has been £10.5 billion. This is 2.4% more than was spent during the first seven months of 2012–13, excluding the impact of the transfer of assets from the Royal Mail Pension Plan to the public sector. The OBR’s forecast at the time of the March 2013 Budget predicted that net investment over the whole of 2013–14 would be £24.2 billion, which is 8.9% above last year’s level excluding the impact of Royal Mail.

      ]]>
      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/6971 Thu, 21 Nov 2013 00:00:00 +0000
      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: October 2013]]> Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances September 2013. We now have details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the first half of financial year 2013–14.

      Rowena Crawford, a Senior Research Economist at the IFS, said:

      “Today’s figures continue to suggest a relatively positive outlook for the public finances this financial year, with borrowing having grown less quickly so far this year than the Office for Budget Responsibility forecast for the year as a whole. However, in large part this is due to trends in public sector net investment and borrowing by local government and public corporations, which can be particularly volatile. Central government current receipts have grown faster over the first half of the year than forecast by the OBR for the year as a whole, and if this trend continues, receipts could come in around £9 billion higher than forecast. However, we should be cautious of reading too much into this trend, since receipts figures for early this year will have been boosted by some high income individuals pushing part of their income from last tax year into this tax year to take advantage of the reduction in the higher rate of income tax.”

      Headline Comparisons

      • Central government current receipts in September were 7.0% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts over the six months April to September were 4.6% higher than in the same months of 2012, excluding the impact of transfers related to the Asset Purchase Facility. The Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR’s) forecast at the time of the March 2013 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2013–14 would be 2.8% above 2012–13 levels.

      • Central government current spending in September was 2.4% higher than in the same month last year. Spending over the first half of 2013–14 was 2.4% higher than over the first half of 2012–13. The OBR’s forecast at the time of the March 2013 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2013–14 would be 2.0% above 2012–13 levels.

      • Public sector net investment in September was £2.0 billion, £0.3 billion more than was spent in September last year. Together, public sector net investment during the first six months of 2013–14 has been £8.5 billion. This is 0.7% more than was spent during the first six months of 2012–13, excluding the impact of the transfer of assets from the Royal Mail Pension Plan to the public sector. The OBR’s forecast at the time of the March 2013 Budget predicted that net investment over the whole of 2013–14 would be £24.2 billion, which is 8.9% above last year’s level excluding the impact of Royal Mail.

      ]]>
      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/6905 Tue, 22 Oct 2013 00:00:00 +0000
      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: September 2013]]> Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances August 2013. We now have details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the first five months of financial year 2013–14.

      Rowena Crawford, a Senior Research Economist at the IFS, said:

      “While the monthly data are volatile, the picture over the first five months of this financial year is one of faster growth in receipts than the Office for Budget Responsibility forecast for the year as a whole. A simple extrapolation of borrowing would suggest that borrowing this year, while still historically high, could come in around £13 billion lower than forecast by the OBR. This may in part be the result of economic growth having turned out stronger than forecast by the OBR at the time of the March Budget. However, the overall receipts figures so far this year are also complicated by some high income individuals pushing part of their income from last tax year into this tax year to take advantage of the reduction in the top rate of income tax. Therefore we should be cautious about inferring too much good news from developments over the past few months.”

      Headline Comparisons

      • Central government current receipts in August were 1.4% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts over the five months April to August were 4.0% higher than in the same months of 2012, excluding the impact of transfers related to the Asset Purchase Facility. The Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR’s) forecast at the time of the March 2013 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2013–14 would be 2.8% above 2012–13 levels.

      • Central government current spending in August was 2.1% lower than in the same month last year. Spending over the five months April to August was 2.6% higher than in the same months of 2012. The OBR’s forecast at the time of the March 2013 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2013–14 would be 2.0% above 2012–13 levels.

      • Public sector net investment in August was £1.9 billion, £0.3 billion more than was spent in August last year. Together, public sector net investment during the first five months of 2013–14 has been £7.2 billion. This is 6.3% more than was spent between April and August in 2012, excluding the impact of the transfer of assets from the Royal Mail Pension Plan to the public sector. The OBR’s forecast at the time of the March 2013 Budget predicted that net investment over the whole of 2013–14 would be £24.2 billion, which is 7.8% above last year’s level excluding the impact of Royal Mail.

      ]]>
      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/6864 Fri, 20 Sep 2013 00:00:00 +0000
      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: August 2013]]> Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances July 2012. We now have details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the first four months of financial year 2013–14.

      Rowena Crawford, a Senior Research Economist at the IFS, said:

      “At first sight, today's figures look disappointing. The Treasury ran a deficit in July this year, whereas they normally run a surplus in this month as a significant chunk of corporation tax payments are made in July. But underlying this headline figure is the continuation of two trends that might not - yet - give us cause for concern.

      Receipts of taxes on both corporate and personal income have grown more quickly so far this year than forecast by the OBR for the year as a whole. But we should be cautious of inferring too positive a message from this, as income tax payments are likely to be more front-loaded this year than last as people shifted income to take advantage of the new, lower 45p top rate of income tax and receipts of VAT have grown more sluggishly than forecast for the year as a whole.

      On the other hand central government current spending has grown more quickly so far than forecast for the year as a whole. But some of this could be merely differences in the timing of payments this year compared to last, and therefore might unwind later on.”

      Headline Comparisons

      • Central government current receipts in July were 3.5% higher than in the same month last year, excluding the impact of transfers related to the Asset Purchase Facility. Receipts over the four months April to July were 4.9% higher than in the same months of 2012. The Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR’s) forecast at the time of the March 2013 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2013–14 would be 3.0% above 2012–13 levels.

      • Central government current spending in July was 3.7% higher than in the same month last year. Spending over the four months April to July was 4.3% higher than in the same months of 2012. The OBR’s forecast at the time of the March 2013 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2013–14 would be 2.2% above 2012–13 levels.

      • Public sector net investment in July was £1.8bn, £0.2 billion more than was spent in July last year. Together, public sector net investment during the first four months of 2013–14 has been £5.6bn. This is 9.3% more than was spent between April and July in 2012, excluding the impact of the transfer of assets from the Royal Mail Pension Plan to the public sector. The OBR’s forecast at the time of the March 2013 Budget predicted that net investment over the whole of 2013–14 would be £24.2 billion, which is 7.3% above last year’s level excluding the impact of Royal Mail.

      ]]>
      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/6835 Wed, 21 Aug 2013 00:00:00 +0000
      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: July 2013]]> Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances June 2013. We now have details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the first three months of financial year 2013–14.

      Rowena Crawford, a Senior Research Economist at the IFS, said:

      “Today’s figures add to a complicated picture. Both receipts and spending by central government have grown more rapidly so far this year than was forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility for the year as a whole, but both are affected by timing changes. Spending by central government includes transfers to local government, which have been much more frontloaded in this financial year than previously, while particularly high income tax receipts at the start of this financial year are likely to reflect some high income individuals moving part of their income from the last tax year into the current tax year so as to benefit more from the reduction in the top rate of income tax from 50p to 45p.

      These timing effects illustrate the difficulties in inferring the likely outcome for borrowing in 2013–14 from only three months’ data. That said, the government is likely to take some heart from June’s figures, which show that combined receipts from income tax, national insurance and capital gains tax grew in line with the forecast for the year as a whole. Benefit spending has also grown broadly in line with that forecast for the year, while other spending by central government, excluding that on debt interest, has grown less rapidly than forecast. However, VAT receipts were weak last month.”

      Headline Comparisons

      • Central government current receipts in June were 3.0% higher than in the same month last year, excluding the impact of transfers related to the Asset Purchase Facility. Receipts between April and June were 5.3% higher than in the same months of 2012. The Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR’s) forecast at the time of the March 2013 Budget implied that central government current receipts on this basis for the whole of 2013–14 would be 3.0% above 2012–13 levels.

      • Central government current spending in June was 1.8% higher than in the same month last year. Spending between April and June was 4.5% higher than in the same months of 2012. The OBR’s forecast at the time of the March 2013 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2013–14 would be 2.2% above 2012–13 levels.

      • Public sector net investment in June was £1.5bn, £0.2bn more than was spent in June last year. Together, public sector net investment between April and June 2013 has been £4.0bn. This is £0.5bn higher than over the same months in 2012, excluding the impact of the transfer of assets from the Royal Mail Pension Plan to the public sector. The OBR’s forecast at the time of the March 2013 Budget predicted that net investment over the whole of 2013–14 would be £24.2 billion, which is 5.6% above last year’s level excluding the impact of Royal Mail.

      ]]>
      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/6815 Fri, 19 Jul 2013 00:00:00 +0000
      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: June 2013]]> Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances May 2013. We now have details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the first two months of financial year 2013-14.

      Rowena Crawford, a Senior Research Economist at the IFS, said:

      "Much attention might be focused on today's revision to the last two financial years' data which means that borrowing in 2012-13 is now estimated to have been £0.2 billion higher than in 2011-12. This is of no direct economic consequence, and the difference is so small that subsequent revisions could easily reverse this. Of more interest is the revision made to accrued receipts of income tax and capital gains tax in April 2013. These are now estimated to have been 27.8% higher than in April 2012. While month-on-month fluctuations are often large, this is the largest since the monthly data began in 1998. Unfortunately rather than reflecting strong growth in underlying incomes, this growth is more likely to reflect some high income individuals pushing part of their income - such as bonuses and special dividends - from the last tax year into the current tax year so as to benefit more from the reduction in the top rate of income tax from 50p to 45p."

      Headline Comparisons

      • Central government current receipts in May were 2.7% higher than in the same month last year, excluding the impact of transfers related to the Asset Purchase Facility and the £3.2bn of expected receipts from the Swiss Tax Agreement in May 2013. Receipts in April and May together were 6.3% higher than in the same months of 2012. The Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR's) forecast at the time of the March 2013 Budget implied that central government current receipts on this basis for the whole of 2013-14 would be 2.9% above 2012-13 levels.

      • Central government current spending in May was 4.4% lower than in the same month last year. Spending in April and May was 6.1% higher than in the same months of 2012. The OBR's forecast at the time of the March 2013 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2013-14 would be 2.2% above 2012-13 levels.

      • Public sector net investment in May was £1.4bn, the same as was spent in May last year. Together, public sector net investment during April and May 2013 has been £2.7bn. This is £0.6bn higher than over the same months in 2012, excluding the impact of the transfer of assets from the Royal Mail Pension Plan to the public sector. The OBR's forecast at the time of the March 2013 Budget predicted that net investment over the whole of 2013-14 would be £24.2 billion, which is 5.5% below last year's level excluding the impact of Royal Mail.

      ]]>
      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/6772 Fri, 21 Jun 2013 00:00:00 +0000
      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: May 2013]]> Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances April 2013. We now have details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the first month of financial year 2013–14 and revised outturns for the whole of financial year 2012–13.

      Rowena Crawford, a Senior Research Economist at the IFS, said:

      “Today’s figures suggest that the public sector borrowed about £1.1 billion less in 2012–13 than suggested a month ago, largely due to an upward revision to receipts. Borrowing is therefore now estimated to have been £1.4 billion lower in 2012–13 than in 2011–12; with the bigger picture remaining that borrowing was essentially unchanged over this period.

      Figures for April 2013 suggest that receipts grew faster last month than was forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility back in March for the year as a whole, with rapid growth in income tax receipts more than offsetting weak growth in corporation tax receipts. However, little can be inferred from just April’s figures about the likely path of receipts over the whole of 2012–13, not least because receipts in April will have been boosted by high income individuals shifting income such as bonuses and special dividends from 2012–13 to 2013–14 in anticipation of the fall in the top rate of income tax from 50% to 45%. Central government spending grew more slowly in April 2013 than forecast by the OBR for the year as a whole, but again these figures alone give only a very limited indication of as to how things will turn out over the rest of the financial year. ”

      Headline Comparisons

      • The public sector current budget in 2012–13 is now estimated to have been in deficit by £97.3bn, excluding the impact of transfers related to the Asset Purchase Facility. This compares to the initial estimated outturn published last month of a deficit of £98.5bn and the Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR’s) forecast for 2012–13 from the March 2013 Budget of a £98.9bn deficit. The OBR’s March 2013 forecast is for the public sector current budget deficit to fall to £95.7bn this financial year.

      • Public sector net borrowing in 2012–13 is now estimated to have been £119.5bn excluding the impact of transfers related to the Royal Mail Pension Scheme and the Asset Purchase Facility, compared to the initial estimated outturn published last month of £120.6bn and borrowing in 2011–12 of £120.9bn. The OBR’s March 2013 forecast is for the public sector to borrow £119.9bn this financial year, which would be more than was borrowed in 2012–13.

      • Public sector net debt at the end of 2012–13 is now estimated to have been £1,186bn, or 75.4% of national income. The OBR’s March 2013 forecast is that this will rise to 79.2% by the end of this financial year.

      • Central government current receipts in April were 0.2% lower than in the same month last year, after adjusting for the financial transfers related to the Asset Purchase Facility in April 2013. However, receipts in April 2012 were flattered by the closure of the Special Liquidity Scheme; also adjusting for this would imply underlying receipts in April 2013 were 5.2% higher than in April 2012. The OBR’s forecast at the time of the March 2013 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2013–14, excluding the impact of transfers associated with the Asset Purchase Facility, would be 3.6% above 2012–13 levels.

      • Central government current spending in April was 1.1% higher than in the same month last year. The OBR’s forecast at the time of the March 2013 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2013–14 would be 2.4% above 2012–13 levels.

      • Public sector net investment in April was £0.7bn, the same as was spent in April 2012 (once the impact of transfers related to the Royal Mail Pension Plan is excluded). The OBR’s forecast at the time of the March 2013 Budget was that net investment over the whole of 2013–14 would be £24.2bn, 9.1% above last year’s level.

      ]]>
      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/6714 Wed, 22 May 2013 00:00:00 +0000
      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: April 2013]]> 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.”

      Headline Comparisons

      • Public sector net borrowing, excluding the impact of transfers related to the Royal Mail Pension Scheme and the Asset Purchase Facility, totalled £120.6bn in 2012−13. This is £0.3bn lower than forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) in their March 2013 Economic and Fiscal Outlook, and £0.3bn lower than the £120.9bn borrowed in 2011–12.

      • Public sector net investment, excluding the impact of transfers related to the Royal Mail Pension Scheme, was £22.0bn in 2012−13 as was forecast by the OBR in March 2013.

      • The public sector current budget deficit in 2012−13 was £98.5bn, excluding the impact of transfers related to the Asset Purchase Facility, which is £0.3bn lower than the £98.9bn forecast by the OBR in March 2011.

      • Underlying public sector net debt at the end of March 2013 stood at 75.4% of national income, which is slightly lower than the 75.9% forecast by the OBR in March, but higher than the 71.8% of national income in March 2012. Including the impact of the financial interventions raises headline public sector net debt to 140.3%.

      ]]>
      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/6669 Tue, 23 Apr 2013 00:00:00 +0000
      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: March 2013]]> Yesterday the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances February 2013. We now have details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the first eleven months of financial year 2012−13.

      ]]>
      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/6655 Fri, 22 Mar 2013 00:00:00 +0000
      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: February 2013]]> Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances January 2013. We now have details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the first ten months of financial year 2012−13.

      Rowena Crawford, a Senior Research Economist at the IFS, said:

      “As the Chancellor prepares for his Budget next month, he will likely be disappointed by today’s public finance figures. January is an important month for receipts but, although growth in income tax receipts was strong, this was partially offset by very weak growth in corporation tax receipts. Together this leaves tax receipts running below the growth forecast for the year as a whole. Spending continues to run higher than forecast, due to strong growth in spending on both welfare benefits and on the delivery and administration of public services. As a result borrowing is now on course to be almost £7 billion higher this year than the OBR forecast in December. Therefore borrowing is more likely to be slightly higher rather than slightly lower than last year’s level, although much uncertainty remains and things could still change in the final two months of the year.

      What matters more than the level of borrowing this year is the outlook for revenues and spending in the medium term. Some of the extra borrowing so far this year is due to Whitehall departments underspending by less than assumed. This may not persist and therefore might not concern the Chancellor – in particular if the money is being spent well. Potentially more concerning is the low growth in tax receipts and the high growth in spending on welfare benefits: were these to persist into future years then the large planned fiscal tightening might need to be increased.”

      Headline Comparisons

      • Central government current receipts in January were 1.1% higher than in the same month last year. The Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR) latest Economic and Fiscal Outlook forecast an increase in receipts relative to last year’s levels of 1.1% for the year as a whole and of 2.4% for the period from November 2012 to March 2013 (excluding the impact of financial transactions relating to the Asset Purchase Facility). The latest figures show an increase relative to last year’s level of 0.5% for the year to date, with an increase of 1.2% when November 2012 to January 2013 are compared to the same three months last year.

      • Central government current spending in January was 4.1% higher than in the same month last year. The OBR’s latest forecast implies an increase relative to last year’s level of 2.4% for the year as a whole and of 2.7% for the period from November 2012 to March 2013. The latest figures show an increase relative to last year’s level of 2.7% for the year to date, with an increase of 4.0% in November 2012 to January 2013 compared to the same three months in 2011–12.

      • Public sector net investment in January was £3.5bn, £0.1 billion more than was spent in January 2012. Public sector net investment between April 2012 and January 2013 has been £17.8bn (excluding the impact of the transfer of assets from the Royal Mail Pension Plan to the public sector), which is 0.9% lower than in the same ten months of 2011–12. The OBR’s latest forecast was that net investment in 2012–13 would be £21.8bn (adjusting for the impact of financial transactions relating to the Asset Purchase Facility and Royal Mail, and the reclassification of the SLS payment as a current receipt), which is 24.0% below last year’s level.

      ]]>
      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/6614 Thu, 21 Feb 2013 00:00:00 +0000
      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: January 2013]]> Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances December 2012. We now have details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the first nine months of financial year 2012−13.

      Rowena Crawford, a Senior Research Economist at the IFS, said:

      “While today’s figures suggest tax receipts came in relatively strongly in December, the growth in receipts over the year to date has still been disappointing relative to the Office for Budget Responsibility’s forecast for the year as a whole. This reflects, in particular, weak growth in receipts of income tax, capital gains tax and national insurance contributions so far this year. In addition, central government current spending has also grown slightly more quickly so far than was forecast for the whole year, largely due to spending on the administration and delivery of public services. If these trends were to continue for the remaining three months of the financial year then borrowing this year could slightly overshoot the OBR’s forecast, by around £3 billion.”

      Headline Comparisons

      • Central government current receipts in December were 3.6% higher than in the same month last year. The Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR) latest Economic and Fiscal Outlook, published last month, forecast an increase in receipts relative to last year’s levels of 1.2% for the year as a whole and of 2.7% for the period from November 2012 to March 2013 (excluding the impact of financial transactions relating to the Asset Purchase Facility, Bradford and Bingley, and Northern Rock Asset Management). The latest figures show an increase relative to last year’s level of 0.3% for the year to date, with an increase of 1.3% in November and December compared to the same two months in 2011.

      • Central government current spending in December was 5.4% higher than in the same month last year. The OBR’s latest forecast implies an increase relative to last year’s level of 2.5% for the year as a whole and of 2.7% for the period from November 2012 to March 2013 (excluding the impact of financial transactions relating to Bradford and Bingley, and Northern Rock Asset Management). The latest figures show an increase relative to last year’s level of 2.8% for the year to date, with an increase of 4.5% in November and December compared to the same two months in 2011.

      • Public sector net investment in December was £2.4bn, around the same as was spent in December 2011. Public sector net investment between April and December 2012 has been £11.6bn (excluding the impact of the transfer of assets from the Royal Mail Pension Plan to the public sector), which is 18.0% lower than in the same nine months of 2011. The OBR’s latest forecast was that net investment in 2012–13 would be £18.9bn (excluding the impact of financial transactions relating to the Asset Purchase Facility, Bradford and Bingley, Northern Rock Asset Management and Royal Mail), which is 32.5% below last year’s level.

        ]]> http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/6550 Tue, 22 Jan 2013 00:00:00 +0000 <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: December 2012 ]]> Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances November 2012. We now have details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the first eight months of financial year 2012−13.

        Rowena Crawford, a Senior Research Economist at the IFS, said:

        “Two weeks ago the Office for Budget Responsibility revised down the official forecasts for tax receipts this year. Today’s figures confirm that receipts from many of the major taxes continue to grow slowly, with receipts from income tax, national insurance and capital gains tax being only 0.5% higher so far this financial year than they were over the same months last year.

        The OBR also revised down their forecast for spending by central government departments – in particular, assuming that they will underspend their budgets for day-to-day spending by £4.5 billion this year. However, so far this year central government current spending, excluding that on welfare and debt interest, has grown by 2.5%. The OBR’s forecast for the year as a whole is for growth in this component of spending of just 1.3% which, to be correct, would require spending to be 0.8% lower over the remaining four months of this financial year than it was over the same months last year.”

        Headline Comparisons

        • Central government current receipts in November were 0.6% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts between April and November 2012 were 0.1% lower than in the same months of 2011. The Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR) latest Economic and Fiscal Outlook, published earlier this month, forecast an increase in receipts relative to last year’s levels of 1.2% for the year as a whole and of 3.0% for the period from November 2012 to March 2013 (excluding the impact of financial transactions relating to the Asset Purchase Facility, Bradford and Bingley, and Northern Rock Asset Management). This is significantly lower than the 3.6% growth for the year as a whole previously forecast by the OBR at the time of the March 2012 Budget.

        • Central government current spending in November was 6.3% higher than in the same month last year. Spending between April and November 2012 was 2.8% higher than in the same months of 2011. The OBR’s latest forecast implies an increase relative to last year’s level of 2.5% for the year as a whole and of 2.7% for the period from November 2012 to March 2013 (excluding the impact of financial transactions relating to Bradford and Bingley, and Northern Rock Asset Management). This is slightly lower than the 3.0% growth for the year as a whole previously forecast by the OBR at the time of the March 2012 Budget.

        • Public sector net investment in November was £1.7bn, £0.2bn higher than was spent in November 2011. Public sector net investment between April and November 2012 has been £9.5bn (excluding the impact of the transfer of assets from the Royal Mail Pension Plan to the public sector), which is 19% lower than in the same eight months of 2010. The OBR’s latest forecast was that net investment in 2011–12 would be £18.9bn (excluding the impact of financial transactions relating to the Asset Purchase Facility, Bradford and Bingley, Northern Rock Asset Management and Royal Mail), which is 33% below last year’s level.

          ]]> http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/6523 Fri, 21 Dec 2012 00:00:00 +0000 <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: November 2012 ]]> Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances October 2012. We now have details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the first seven months of financial year 2012–13.

          Rowena Crawford, a Senior Research Economist at the IFS, said:

          “Today’s figures will likely result in an unpleasant feeling of déjà vu for the Chancellor as he prepares for next month’s Autumn Statement. As was the case last year, a worse-than-expected decline in corporation tax receipts in October has contributed to an overall picture of lower-than-expected growth in revenues so far this year. Spending on the administration and delivery of public services has also again grown more slowly so far than forecast for the year as a whole.”

          “Last year the level of underspending was sufficient to offset the lower than forecast growth in revenues at this point in the year, leaving borrowing looking broadly on course to meet the previous forecast. However, this year the potential spending undershoot looks to be able to offset only partially the weaker–than−expected receipts. If the trends in central government receipts and non-investment spending were to continue for the remainder of 2012−13, borrowing would come in £13 billion higher than forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility in March.”

          Headline Comparisons

          • Central government current receipts in October were 1.8% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts over the seven months April to October were 0.4% higher than in the same months of 2011. The Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR’s) forecast at the time of the March 2012 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2012–13 would be 3.7% above 2011–12 levels.

          • Central government current spending in October was 7.3% higher than in the same month last year. Spending over the first seven months of 2012−13 was 2.3% higher than over the first seven months of 2011−12. The OBR’s forecast at the time of the March 2012 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2012–13 would be 3.0% above 2011–12 levels.

          • Public sector net investment in October was £1.9 billion, £0.4 billion more than was spent in October last year. Together, public sector net investment during the first seven months of 2012–13 has been £10.4 billion (excluding the impact of the transfer of assets from the Royal Mail Pension Plan to the public sector and the closure of the Special Liquidity Scheme (SLS)). This is 4.5% higher (£0.5 billion more) than was spent over the same period in 2011−12. The OBR’s forecast at the time of the March 2012 Budget predicted that net investment over the whole of 2012–13 would be £26.9 billion (excluding the impact of Royal Mail and the SLS), which is 0.8% above last year’s level.

            ]]> http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/6450 Wed, 21 Nov 2012 00:00:00 +0000 <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: October 2012 ]]> Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances September 2012. We now have details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the first half of financial year 2012-13.

            Rowena Crawford, a Senior Research Economist at the IFS, said:

            "Figures published today by the Office for National Statistics contain a significant, £6.7 billion, downward revision to estimated borrowing over the first five months of this financial year. While this improves the outlook for borrowing this year, growth in central government tax receipts is still running well below the forecast for the year as a whole and, while spending on public services by central government departments is also growing less quickly than forecast, it is too early to conclude that these departments will underspend their allocations. If the disappointing trend in central government receipts were to continue, but spending and other revenues turn out as forecast, borrowing would still overshoot the official forecast for this year by £15 billion."

            Headline Comparisons

            • Central government current receipts in September were 3.7% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts over the six months April to September were 0.8% higher than in the same months of 2011. The Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR's) forecast at the time of the March 2012 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2012-13 would be 3.7% above 2011-12 levels.

            • Central government current spending in September was 3.8% higher than in the same month last year. Spending over the first half of 2012-13 was 2.1% higher than over the first half of 2011-12. The OBR's forecast at the time of the March 2012 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2012-13 would be 3.0% above 2011-12 levels.

            • Public sector net investment in September was £1.6 billion, £0.3 billion less than was spent in September last year. Together, public sector net investment during the first six months of 2012-13 has been £7.8 billion (excluding the impact of the transfer of assets from the Royal Mail Pension Plan to the public sector and the closure of the Special Liquidity Scheme (SLS)). This is £0.6 billion less than was spent in the first half of 2011-12. The OBR's forecast at the time of the March 2012 Budget predicted that net investment over the whole of 2012-13 would be £26.9 billion (excluding the impact of Royal Mail and the SLS), which is 0.8% above last year's level.

              ]]> http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/6400 Fri, 19 Oct 2012 00:00:00 +0000 <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: September 2012 ]]> Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances August 2012. We now have details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the first five months of financial year 2012-13.

              Rowena Crawford, a Senior Research Economist at the IFS, said:

              "Today's figures persist in painting a gloomy picture with weaker-than-expected growth in receipts from taxes on income, spending and profits. In contrast spending by central government is growing broadly in line with the forecast for the year as a whole.

              If the disappointing trend in central government receipts continues they would undershoot the official forecast for this year by £18 billion. If spending and other receipts turn out in line with the March forecast, this would bring public sector net borrowing in 2012-13, after excluding the one-off impact of specific transactions, up to £140 billion; this is more than was borrowed last year and around the same amount as was borrowed in 2010-11."

              Headline Comparisons

              • Central government current receipts in August were 1.8% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts over the five months April to August were 0.4% higher than in the same months of 2011. The Office for Budget Responsibility's (OBR's) forecast at the time of the March 2012 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2012-13 would be 3.7% above 2011-12 levels.

              • Central government current spending in August was 2.6% higher than in the same month last year. Spending over the five months April to August was 3.0% higher than in the same months of 2011. The OBR's forecast at the time of the March 2012 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2012-13 would be 3.0% above 2011-12 levels.

              • Public sector net investment in August was £1.2bn, £0.4 billion less than was spent in August last year. Together, public sector net investment during the first five months of 2012-13 has been £6.2bn (excluding the impact of the transfer of assets from the Royal Mail Pension Plan to the public sector and the closure of the Special Liquidity Scheme (SLS)). This is the same as was spent between April and August in 2011. The OBR's forecast at the time of the March 2012 Budget predicted that net investment over the whole of 2012-13 would be £26.9 billion (excluding the impact of Royal Mail and the SLS), which is 10.5% above last year's level.

                ]]> http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/6326 Fri, 21 Sep 2012 00:00:00 +0000 <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: August 2012 ]]> Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances July 2012. We now have details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the first four months of financial year 2012-13.

                Rowena Crawford, a Senior Research Economist at the IFS, said:

                "Today's figures continue to be disappointing, with further weak growth in receipts in July, particularly from corporation tax. Relatively low growth in receipts so far this year, combined with relatively high growth in spending on net social benefits, has contributed to borrowing being £11.6 billion greater than over the first four months of 2011-12. The government will need receipts to grow more rapidly and spending growth to slow over the remainder of the year if they are to meet the OBR's latest forecast that borrowing will fall from £125 billion last year to around £122 billion this year. However, it is still early in the financial year and we should be cautious about inferring too much from data on only the first four months."

                Headline Comparisons

                • Central government current receipts in July were 0.8% lower than in the same month last year. Receipts over the four months April to July were 1.1% higher than in the same months of 2011. The Office for Budget Responsibility's (OBR's) forecast at the time of the March 2012 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2012-13 would be 3.9% above 2011-12 levels.

                • Central government current spending in July was 5.1% higher than in the same month last year. Spending over the four months April to July was 3.6% higher than in the same months of 2011. The OBR's forecast at the time of the March 2012 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2012-13 would be 3.1% above 2011-12 levels.

                • Public sector net investment in July was £1.7bn, £0.4 billion more than was spent in July last year. Together, public sector net investment during the first four months of 2012-13 has been £5.2bn (excluding the impact of the transfer of assets from the Royal Mail Pension Plan to the public sector and the closure of the Special Liquidity Scheme (SLS)). This is 9.3% more than was spent between April and July in 2011. The OBR's forecast at the time of the March 2012 Budget predicted that net investment over the whole of 2012-13 would be £26.9 billion (excluding the impact of Royal Mail and the SLS), which is 3.1% above last year's level.

                  ]]> http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/6296 Tue, 21 Aug 2012 00:00:00 +0000 <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: July 2012]]> Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances June 2012. We now have details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the first three months of financial year 2012-13.

                  Rowena Crawford, a Senior Research Economist at the IFS, said:

                  "On the face of it today's figures continue to be disappointing, with public sector net borrowing so far this year being £6.8 billion higher than over the same period in 2011. This has largely arisen from local authorities running a substantially smaller surplus this year than last, while central government has borrowed about the same amount as it did last year to fund its own current consumption.

                  For central government, tax receipts have grown less quickly to date than forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility for the year as a whole, primarily due to weak growth in receipts from taxes on personal and corporate incomes. But this has been largely offset by lower-than-forecast growth in central government current spending. However, to some extent, central government current spending so far this year has been artificially depressed relative to last year by some grants to local authorities not having been paid as early in the year. Once these grants are paid by central to local government, the position for central government is likely to weaken and that for local government to improve."

                  Headline Comparisons

                  • Central government current receipts in June were 3.6% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts over the three months April to June were 2.5% higher than in the same months of 2011. The Office for Budget Responsibility's (OBR's) forecast at the time of the March 2012 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2012-13 would be 3.9% above 2011-12 levels.

                  • Central government current spending in June was 0.8% lower than in the same month last year. Spending over the three months April to June was 2.2% higher than in the same months of 2011. The OBR's forecast at the time of the March 2012 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2012-13 would be 3.1% above 2011-12 levels.

                  • Public sector net investment in June was £1.4bn, £0.1 billion less than was spent in June last year. Together, public sector net investment during the first three months of 2012-13 has been £3.7bn (excluding the impact of the transfer of assets from the Royal Mail Pension Plan to the public sector and the closure of the Special Liquidity Scheme (SLS)). This is 8.4% more than was spent between April and June in 2011. The OBR's forecast at the time of the March 2012 Budget predicted that net investment over the whole of 2012-13 would be £26.9 billion (excluding the impact of Royal Mail and the SLS), which is 1.0% above last year's level.

                    ]]> http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/6271 Fri, 20 Jul 2012 00:00:00 +0000 <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: June 2012]]> Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances May 2012. We now have details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the first two months of financial year 2012–13.

                    Rowena Crawford, a senior research economist at the IFS, said:
                    “Today’s figures indicate that over the last two months central government current spending has grown more quickly than forecast for the year as a whole, mainly due to relatively rapid growth in welfare spending in both April and May. Receipts have grown less quickly than forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility for the year as a whole, in part due to weak corporation tax receipts in April. Receipts of income tax, national insurance contributions and capital gains tax were weak in May but, taking April and May together, have so far this year grown more quickly than forecast for the year as a whole. However, since we are only two months into the financial year, these figures do not provide much guide as to how the public finances will evolve over the whole year.

                    Today’s figures also include a number of large revisions to data from earlier months. Borrowing in 2011−12 is now estimated to have been £127.6 billion, above the £124.4 billion estimated in last month’s figures and also above – although close to – the £126.0 billion forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility at the time of the March Budget. The revision to borrowing is in part due to a £1.0 billion downwards revision to estimated revenues and a £0.5 billion upwards revision to central government current spending. The significant remainder is due to a number of methodological and classification changes, which were already taken into account in the March Budget forecast.”

                    Headline comparisons

                    • Central government current receipts in May were 1.6% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts in April and May were 2.1% higher than in the same months of 2011. The Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR’s) forecast at the time of the March 2012 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2012–13 would be 4.0% above 2011–12 levels.

                    • Central government current spending in May was 7.8% higher than in the same month last year. Spending in April and May was 3.7% higher than in the same months of 2011. The OBR’s forecast at the time of the March 2012 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2012–13 would be 3.1% above 2011–12 levels.

                    • Public sector net investment in May was £1.0bn, the same as was spent in May last year. Together, public sector net investment during April and May 2012 has been £1.6bn, excluding the impact of the transfer of assets from the Royal Mail Pension Plan to the public sector and the closure of the Special Liquidity Scheme (SLS). This is 17.3% lower than in the same two months of 2011. The OBR’s forecast at the time of the March 2012 Budget predicted that net investment over the whole of 2012–13 would be £27.3 billion, excluding the impact of Royal Mail and the SLS, which is 2.7% below last year’s level.

                    ]]>
                    http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/6209 Tue, 26 Jun 2012 00:00:00 +0000
                    <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: May 2012]]> Public Sector Finances April 2012. We now have details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the first month of financial year 2012–13 and revised outturns for the whole of financial year 2011-12.

                    Rowena Crawford, a Senior Research Economist at the IFS, said: "Today’s figures suggest that the public sector borrowed about £1.6 billion less in 2011-12 than suggested by the provisional outturns published a month ago. This is mainly because of an upward revision to receipts of income tax and national insurance contributions and slightly lower spending on net social benefits, partially offset by higher net investment spending.

                    "The transfer of Royal Mail Pension assets to the public sector this month has had the short term effect of reducing public sector net debt. However, this positive effect will ultimately be more than offset by the liabilities which have also been transferred, the estimated value of which exceeds the assets by £10 billion.

                    "Figures for April 2012 suggest that spending grew at broadly the same rate as was forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility back in March for the year as a whole. Receipts grew less quickly than forecast for the year as a whole, primarily due to weak corporation tax receipts. However, as this is only the first month of the financial year, these figures on their own give us little clue as to how borrowing will compare to the OBR’s Budget forecasts for the year as a whole.”

                    Headline Comparisons

                    • Public sector current budget in 2011-12 is now estimated to have been in deficit by £94.8bn compared to the initial estimated outturn published last month of a deficit of £97.3bn and the Office for Budget Responsibility's (OBR's) forecast from the March 2012 Budget of a £98bn deficit.

                    • Public sector net borrowing in 2011-12 is now estimated to have been £124.4bn compared to the initial estimated outturn published last month of £126.0bn and the OBR's Budget 2012 forecast of £126.0bn.
                    • Public sector net debt at the end of 2011-12 is now estimated to have been £1022.6bn, or 66% of national income.
                    • Central government current receipts in April were 1.3% higher than in the same month last year. The OBR's forecast at the time of the March 2012 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2012-13 would be 3.8% above 2011-12 levels.

                    • Central government current spending in April was 4.0% higher than in the same month last year. The OBR's forecast at the time of the March 2012 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2012-13 would be 3.2% above 2011-12 levels.

                    • Public sector net investment in April was -£28.9bn. This is largely explained by the transfer of assets from the Royal Mail Pension Plan to the public sector, which had the effect of reducing net investment in April 2012 by £28 billion, and the closure of the Special Liquidity Scheme, which reduced net investment by £2.3 billion. Removing the effect of this suggests that underlying public sector net investment was £1.4billion, compared to £1.0 billion in April 2011. The OBR's forecast at the time of the March 2012 Budget predicted that net investment over the whole of 2012-13 would be −£3bn including the impact of the transfer of Royal Mail assets and the closure of the SLS. Excluding these the forecast would be £27.3 billion, which is 8% below last year's level.

                    ]]>
                    http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/6177 Tue, 22 May 2012 00:00:00 +0000
                    <![CDATA[Public Finance bulletin: April 2012]]> Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances March 2012. 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 2011−12.

                    Rowena Crawford, a research economist at the IFS, said: "Today's figures show that the Government borrowed £126 billion last year, as was forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility last month; although within this both central government spending and revenues were slightly lower than forecast a month ago. Taking the longer view, borrowing in 2011−12 is estimated to have been only £4 billion higher than forecast a year ago in the March 2011 Budget. This would be considered a small forecasting error even in normal times and this is therefore particularly small given current levels of uncertainty. However within this central government current receipts in 2011−12 are estimated to have come in £16 billion lower than forecast a year ago, offset largely by central government current spending coming in £10 billion lower and public sector net investment £3 billion lower than forecast."

                    Headline comparisons

                    • Public sector net borrowing totalled £126.0bn in 2011−12, as was forecast last month by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) in their Economic and Fiscal Outlook. This is £10.8bn lower than the £136.8bn borrowed in 2010−11.

                    • Public sector net investment was £28.6bn in 2011−12, slightly higher than the £27.8bn forecast by the OBR in March 2012.

                    • The current budget deficit in 2011−12 was £97.3bn, which is £0.9bn lower than the £98.2bn forecast by the OBR in March 2012.

                    • Underlying public sector net debt at the end of March 2012 stood at 66% of national income. Including the impact of the financial interventions raises headline public sector net debt to 140.8%.

                    ]]>
                    http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/6154 Tue, 24 Apr 2012 00:00:00 +0000
                    <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: March 2012]]> Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances February 2012. We now have details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the first eleven months of financial year 2011−12.

                    Rowena Crawford, a Research Economist at the IFS said:

                    “As the Chancellor puts the finishing touches on his Budget speech he will doubtless be disappointed by today’s public finance figures. A month ago official figures suggested that tax revenues were growing less quickly than had been forecast by the OBR for the year as a whole but this was more than offset by lower-than-forecast growth in spending. However, today’s figures (which the Chancellor will have seen yesterday) show that in February there was a fall in receipts of taxes on incomes, and a sharp rise in spending on welfare benefits and central government spending on the administration and delivery of public services, relative to the same month last year. This has weakened the picture for the year but leaves borrowing over the first eleven months of 2011−12 running in line with the OBR’s November forecast for the year as a whole of £127 billion, rather than below as it appeared to be a month ago. The latest OBR forecasts will be published this afternoon. More important for the Chancellor than projected borrowing this year is whether the OBR judges that the medium term outlook for public finances has changed significantly.”

                    Headline Comparisons

                    • Central government current receipts in February were 2.7% lower than in the same month last year. The Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR) latest Economic and Fiscal Outlook, published in November 2011, forecast an increase in receipts relative to last year’s levels of 5.0% for the year as a whole and of 5.8% for the period from November 2011 to March 2012. The latest figures show an increase relative to last year’s level of 3.9% for the year to date, with a 3.0% increase between November 2011 and February 2012 compared to the same four months last year.

                    • Central government current spending in February was 8.3% higher than in the same month last year. The latest figures show an increase relative to last year’s level of 1.8% for the year to date, with an increase of 1.5% between November 2011 and February 2012 compared to the same four months of 2010−11. The OBR’s latest forecast implies an increase relative to last year’s level of 3.2% for the year as a whole and of 4.8% for the period from November 2011 to March 2012.
                    • Public sector net investment in February was £4.1bn, £0.4bn lower than was spent in February 2011. Public sector net investment between April 2011 and February 2012 was £22.0bn, which is 28% lower than in the same eleven months of 2010−11. The OBR’s latest forecast was that net investment in 2011–12 would be £28.6bn, which is 25% below last year’s level.

                    ]]>
                    http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/6075 Wed, 21 Mar 2012 00:00:00 +0000
                    <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: February 2012]]>

                    Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances January 2012. We now have details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the first ten months of financial year 2011−12.

                    Rowena Crawford, a Research Economist at the IFS, said: "Today's figures show that growth in central government current receipts was weak last month, due to a fall in VAT receipts and low growth in income tax and capital gains tax receipts that was only partially offset by strong growth in corporation tax receipts. Spending by central government on public services last month was higher relative to last year for the first time in five months, but an overall fall in this item of spending so far this year is still contributing to total central government current spending running below the forecast for the year.

                    A simple extrapolation of the data over the last ten months suggests that borrowing is on course to come in at around £116bn. This is lower than the £127.1 billion forecast by the OBR in the November 2011 Economic and Fiscal Outlook and lower than the £124.2bn forecast in our IFS Green Budget earlier this month. However it is important to bear in mind that borrowing over the next two months might not follow the pattern seen over the previous ten. In particular, VAT receipts may be expected to slow and spending may be expected to accelerate.

                    The Chancellor would no doubt be pleased if borrowing this year were to come in lower than the OBR forecast. However the composition of this lower borrowing suggests that it is unlikely to feed through into lower than currently forecast borrowing in future years. Despite this caveat, the worsening economic outlook seen over the last year has increased pressure for a temporary fiscal stimulus package in next month's budget, and lower-than-expected borrowing this year may give the Chancellor scope for such a policy without damaging the credibility of the government's commitment to deficit reduction."

                    Headline Comparisons

                    • Central government current receipts in January were 2.8% higher than in the same month last year. The Office for Budget Responsibility's (OBR) latest Economic and Fiscal Outlook, published in November 2011, forecast an increase in receipts relative to last year's levels of 4.8% for the year as a whole and of 5.1% for the period from November 2011 to March 2012. The latest figures show an increase relative to last year's level of 4.7% for the year to date, with a 5.0% increase between November 2011 and January 2012 compared to the same three months last year.

                    • Central government current spending in January was 3.0% higher than in the same month last year. The latest figures show an increase relative to last year's level of 1.6% for the year to date, with an increase of 0.2% between November 2011 and January 2012 compared to the same three months of 2010−11. The OBR's latest forecast implies an increase relative to last year's level of 3.2% for the year as a whole and of 4.4% for the period from November 2011 to March 2012.
                    • Public sector net investment in January was £4.0bn, the same as was spent in January 2011. Public sector net investment between April 2011 and January 2012 was £18.6bn, which is 28.2% lower than in the same ten months of 2010−11. The OBR's latest forecast was that net investment in 2011-12 would be £28.6bn, which is 25.0% below last year's level.

                    ]]>
                    http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/6026 Tue, 21 Feb 2012 00:00:00 +0000
                    <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: January 2012]]>

                    Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances December 2011. We now have details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the first nine months of financial year 2011−12.

                    Gemma Tetlow, a Programme Director at the IFS, said:

                    "Today's figures continue to suggest that public sector borrowing is on course slightly to undershoot the latest official forecast this year. Although there was strong growth in tax revenues in December this is unlikely to persist for the remainder of the year. Despite this, borrowing is still more likely than not to undershoot the official forecast as central government spending on public services has, for the fourth month in a row, run below the level spent in 2010-11 rather than above as was planned by the Government for the year as a whole.

                    Receipts of income tax and corporation tax in January, on which we will get data next month, will be particularly informative. Large receipts of both these taxes are expected, coming from self-assessment payments, income tax on any bonuses paid in January and a large quarterly instalment of corporation tax. How large these receipts turn out to be is critical for borrowing this year but at this stage uncertain."

                    Headline Comparisons

                    • Central government current receipts in December were 7.3% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts between April and December 2011 were 5.0% higher than in the same months of 2010. The Office for Budget Responsibility's (OBR) latest Economic and Fiscal Outlook, published in November 2011, forecast an increase in receipts relative to last year's levels of 4.9% for the year as a whole and of 5.3% for the period from November 2011 to March 2012. This is significantly lower than the 6.9% growth for the year as a whole previously forecast by the OBR at the time of the March 2011 Budget.

                    • Central government current spending in December was 0.8% lower than in the same month last year. Spending between April and December 2011 was 1.5% higher than in the same months of 2010. The OBR's latest forecast implies an increase relative to last year's level of 3.2% for the year as a whole and of 4.4% for the period from November 2011 to March 2012. This is slightly lower than the 3.6% growth for the year as a whole previously forecast by the OBR at the time of the March 2011 Budget.
                    • Public sector net investment in December was £2.9bn, £0.3bn higher than was spent in December 2010. Public sector net investment between April and December 2011 was £17.6bn, which is 19% lower than in the same nine months of 2010. The OBR's latest forecast was that net investment in 2011-12 would be £28.6bn, which is 25% below last year's level.

                    ]]>
                    http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/5993 Tue, 24 Jan 2012 00:00:00 +0000
                    <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: December 2011]]>

                    Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances November 2011. We now have details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the first eight months of financial year 2010−11.

                    Rowena Crawford, a Research Economist at the IFS, said:

                    "A simple extrapolation from borrowing so far this year suggests that for the whole of 2011−12 it would come in below last month's forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility of £127 billion. However, if central government departments were to exhaust their allocated budgets by the end of the year - as the OBR expects - then borrowing would be much more likely to come in as forecast.

                    Furthermore, while so far overall tax receipts are in line with the OBR forecast, there are risks around this. For example, despite a large downwards revision to their expectations for corporation tax receipts this year in the Autumn forecast, meeting the OBR's projection still depends on strong growth in these receipts over the next four months, which would be a turn-around from the fall in receipts seen so far this year."

                    Headline Comparisons

                    • Central government current receipts in November were 7.1% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts between April and November 2011 were 4.8% higher than in the same months of 2010. The Office for Budget Responsibility's (OBR) latest Economic and Fiscal Outlook, published last month, forecast an increase in receipts relative to last year's levels of 4.9% for the year as a whole and of 5.3% for the period from November 2011 to March 2012. This is significantly lower than the 6.9% growth for the year as a whole previously forecast by the OBR at the time of the March 2011 Budget.

                    • Central government current spending in November was 0.8% higher than in the same month last year. Spending between April and November 2011 was 1.9% higher than in the same months of 2010. The OBR's latest forecast implies an increase relative to last year's level of 3.2% for the year as a whole and of 4.6% for the period from November 2011 to March 2012. This is slightly lower than the 3.6% growth for the year as a whole previously forecast by the OBR at the time of the March 2011 Budget.
                    • Public sector net investment in in November was £2.4bn, £0.6bn lower than was spent in November 2010. Public sector net investment between April and November 2011 has been £14.8bn, which is 23.1% lower than in the same eight months of 2010. The OBR's latest forecast was that net investment in 2011-12 would be £28.6bn, which is 25.3% below last year's level.

                    ]]>
                    http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/5960 Wed, 21 Dec 2011 00:00:00 +0000
                    <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: November 2011]]> Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances October 2011. We now have details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the first seven months of financial year 2011-12.

                    Rowena Crawford, a Research Economist at the IFS, said:

                    "October is a big month for corporation tax receipts so today's figures, which show that these were lower than in the same month last year, will be disappointing for Mr Osborne as he prepares for next week's Autumn Statement. These weak corporation tax receipts have contributed to an overall picture of lower than expected growth in tax revenues so far this year. Despite this, borrowing has so far this year been broadly in line with the official forecasts for the year as a whole because spending on the administration and delivery of public services has been more subdued than forecast for the year as a whole.

                    A key judgement for the Office for Budget Responsibility in forming their forecasts next week will be deciding which, if any, of these trends are set to continue. A pickup in spending on public services this year would, if combined with continued weak growth in receipts, lead to borrowing in 2011-12 exceeding the OBR's March 2011 Budget forecast. More importantly a clear risk for future years is that tax receipts continue to underperform while spending departments do manage to exhaust their extremely tight allocations.

                    There is some flexibility to absorb this potential bad news while still meeting the Government's fiscal mandate, which relates to the gap between receipts and non-investment spending expected at the end of the forecast horizon. First, the Chancellor's previous forecasts contained some margin for error. Second, additional borrowing caused by what is judged to be temporary weakness in the economy is allowed. Third, next week the forecast horizon will be automatically extended by one more year to 2016-17 so any additional fiscal tightening need not be implemented until after the next general election."

                    Headline Comparisons

                    • Central government current receipts in October were 4.1% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts over the seven months April to October 2011 were 5.1% higher than in the same months of 2010. The OBR forecast at the time of the March 2011 Budget implied that central government current receipts would grow by 6.9% over the whole of 2011−12. The growth in receipts so far this year looks artificially weak because of the different timing of two bank taxes - the temporary Bank Payroll Tax generated receipts in April 2010 while receipts from the new Bank Levy only started to come in from July 2011. Although taking these into account improves the picture somewhat, underlying growth in receipts so far this year is still below what the OBR's forecast suggests for the year as a whole.
                    • Central government current spending in October was 1.1% higher than in the same month last year. Spending between April and October was 2.5% higher than in the same months of 2010. The OBR's forecast at the time of the March 2011 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2011-12 would be 3.6% above 2010-11 levels.
                    • Public sector net investment in October was £2.0bn, £0.9bn lower than in October 2010. Together, public sector net investment between April and October 2011 has been £10.0bn, which is 39% lower than in the same seven months of 2010. The OBR's forecast at the time of the March 2011 Budget predicted that net investment in 2011-12 would be £31.8bn, which is 17.7% below last year's level.

                    ]]>
                    http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/5884 Tue, 22 Nov 2011 00:00:00 +0000
                    <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: October 2011]]>

                    Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances September 2011. We now have details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the first half of financial year 2011-12.

                    Rowena Crawford, a Research Economist at the IFS, said:

                    "Today's figures suggest that, if trends for the year to date were to continue, borrowing this year would come in around the official forecast of £122 billion. This is a somewhat rosier picture than was painted by last month's figures, largely due to a downwards revision of £2.2bn to estimated borrowing in August.

                    "This relatively positive picture overall masks two trends. The bad news is that tax receipts are down compared to forecasts, likely reflecting underlying economic weakness. On the other hand spending is also coming in below forecast - which is perhaps surprising given the scale of cuts to departmental budgets already factored into the forecast. The risk of course is that spending will recover as departments spend up to their budgeted limits. If that were to happen, and tax revenues didn't bounce back, then borrowing targets would be missed."

                    Headline Comparisons

                    • Central government current receipts in September were 4.2% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts over the six months April to September 2011 were 4.9% higher than in the same months of 2010. The OBR forecast at the time of the March 2011 Budget implied that central government current receipts would grow by 6.9% over the whole of 2011-12. The growth in receipts so far this year looks artificially weak because of the different timing of two bank taxes - the temporary Bank Payroll Tax generated receipts in April 2010 while receipts from the new Bank Levy only started to come in from July 2011. Although taking these into account improves the picture somewhat, underlying growth in receipts so far this year is still below what the OBR's forecast suggests for the year as a whole.
                    • Central government current spending in September was 0.6% higher than in the same month last year. Spending between April and September was 2.9% higher than in the same months of 2010. The OBR's forecast at the time of the March 2011 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2011-12 would be 3.6% above 2010-11 levels.
                    • Public sector net investment in September was £2.2bn, £0.4bn lower than in September 2010. Together, public sector net investment between April and September 2011 has been £9.4bn, which is 30% lower than in the same six months of 2010. The OBR's forecast at the time of the March 2011 Budget predicted that net investment in 2011-12 would be £31.8bn, which is 18% below last year's level.

                    ]]>
                    http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/5728 Fri, 21 Oct 2011 00:00:00 +0000
                    <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: September 2011]]> Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances August 2011. We now have details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the first five months of financial year 2011-12.

                    Rowena Crawford, a Research Economist at the IFS, said: "The good news for the Treasury in today's figures is that the estimate for borrowing last year has been revised down by £6 billion, thanks in large part to £4 billion lower spending by local authorities than previously thought. The bad news is that, for a third consecutive month, tax receipts have been weak. The latter increasingly suggests that borrowing this year could overshoot the official forecast. That said, with only five months of data currently available, much uncertainty remains. A significant pick-up in tax receipts over the coming months or an undershoot on investment spending could lead to the OBR's forecast still proving correct, but it is also possible that the deficit this year could even exceed the deficit last year."

                    Commenting on speculation today that government ministers are considering a boost of up to £5 billion to planned capital spending, Carl Emmerson, Deputy Director of the IFS, said: "An extra £5 billion, if spent in one year, would be a large proportional increase in investment spending: Budget 2011 forecast around £30 billion of net investment both this year and next. The OBR's model suggests that the impact of this would be to boost national income in the first year by around 0.3%, assuming no offsetting monetary policy response. History suggests that a key challenge would be to ensure that the money was spent productively and in a timely manner. It would also be important to ensure that increasing spending in this way did not damage confidence in the UK's commitment to reducing the deficit to sustainable levels over the medium term."

                    Headline Comparisons

                    • Central government current receipts in August were 5.9% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts over the five months April to August 2011 were 4.6 % higher than in the same months of 2010. The OBR forecast at the time of the March 2011 Budget implied that central government current receipts would grow by 6.9% over the whole of 2011−12. The growth in receipts so far this year looks artificially weak because of the different timing of two bank taxes - the temporary Bank Payroll Tax generated receipts in April 2010 while receipts from the new Bank Levy have only started to come in from July 2011. Although taking these into account improves the picture somewhat, underlying growth in receipts so far this year is still below what the OBR's forecast suggests for the year as a whole.
                    • Central government current spending in in August was 7.2% higher than in the same month last year. Spending between April and August was 3.8% higher than in the same months of 2010. The OBR's forecast at the time of the March 2011 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2011-12 would be 3.6% above 2010-11 levels.
                    • Public sector net investment in in August was £2.1bn, £0.3bn lower than in August 2010. Together, public sector net investment between April and August 2011 has been £8.0bn, which is 27% lower than in the same five months of 2010. The OBR's forecast at the time of the March 2011 Budget predicted that net investment in 2011-12 would be £31.8bn, which is 18% below last year's level.
                    • ]]> http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/5694 Wed, 21 Sep 2011 00:00:00 +0000 <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: August 2011]]>

                      Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances July 2011. We now have details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the first four months of financial year 2011-12.

                      Rowena Crawford, a Research Economist at the IFS, said: "Weak growth in receipts in July, particularly from corporation tax, should increase concern that borrowing this year will overshoot the OBR's forecast. The headline numbers are probably gloomier than the true picture, due to changes in the expected timing of tax receipts this year relative to last year, but the government will still need receipts from many of the major taxes to grow more rapidly over the remainder of the year if they are to meet the OBR's forecast for receipts. The risk to borrowing at the moment appears to be mainly from the receipts side - central government spending so far this year has grown broadly in line with what was forecast in the Budget for the year as a whole."

                      Headline Comparisons

                      • Central government current receipts in July were 5.6% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts over the four months April to July 2011 were 4.3 % higher than in the same months of 2010. The OBR forecast at the time of the March 2011 Budget implied that central government current receipts would grow by 7.2% over the whole of 2011−12. The growth in receipts so far this year looks artificially weak because of the different timing of two bank taxes - the temporary Bank Payroll Tax generated receipts in April 2010 while receipts from the new Bank Levy have only started to come in in July 2011. Although taking these into account improves the picture somewhat, underlying growth in receipts so far this year is still below what the OBR's forecast suggests for the year as a whole.
                      • Central government current spending in July was 1.9% higher than in the same month last year. Spending between April and July was 3.3% higher than in the same months of 2010. The OBR's forecast at the time of the March 2011 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2011-12 would be 3.6% above 2010-11 levels.
                      • Public sector net investment in July was £2.1bn, £0.8bn lower than in July 2010. Together, public sector net investment between April and July 2011 has been £7.0bn, which is 19% lower than in the same four months of 2010. The OBR's forecast at the time of the March 2011 Budget predicted that net investment in 2011-12 would be £31.8bn, which is 20% below last year's level.

                      ]]>
                      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/5662 Fri, 19 Aug 2011 00:00:00 +0000
                      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: July 2011]]>

                      Headline Comparisons

                      • Central government current receipts in June were 5.6% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts over the three months April to June 2011 were 4.6 % higher than in the same months of 2010. However, April 2010 figures were flattered by £3.5bn of receipts from the temporary Bank Payroll Tax. Once these have been taken into account today's figures suggest that receipts between April and June 2011 grew broadly in line with the 7.2% growth that the OBR forecast for the year as a whole at the time of the March 2011 Budget.

                      • Central government current spending in June was 4.9% higher than in the same month last year. Spending between April and June was 3.5% higher than in the same months of 2010. The OBR's forecast at the time of the March 2011 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2011-12 would be 3.6% above 2010-11 levels.

                      • Public sector net investment in June was £2.2bn, the same as was spent in June 2010. Together, public sector net investment between April and June 2011 has been £5.3bn, which is 9.4% lower than in the same three months of 2010. The OBR's forecast at the time of the March 2011 Budget predicted that net investment in 2011-12 would be £31.8bn, which is 19.9% below last year's level.

                      ]]>
                      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/5635 Thu, 21 Jul 2011 00:00:00 +0000
                      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: June 2011]]>

                      Headline Comparisons

                      • Central government current receipts in May were 8.2% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts in April and May were 3.0% higher than in the same months of 2010. However, April 2010 figures were flattered by £3.5bn of receipts from the temporary Bank Payroll Tax. Excluding these receipts from the April 2010 figures suggests that underlying receipts grew by 7.8% in April and May 2011 compared to the same two months a year ago. The OBR's forecast at the time of the March 2011 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2011-12 would be 7.3% above 2010-11 levels.

                      • Central government current spending in May was 2.3% higher than in the same month last year. Spending in April and May was 4.1% higher than in the same months of 2010. The OBR's forecast at the time of the March 2011 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2011-12 would be 3.6% above 2010-11 levels.

                      • Public sector net investment in May was £2.1bn compared to £2.0bn in the same month last year. Together, public sector net investment during April and May 2010 has been £3.4bn, which is 5% lower than in the same two months of 2010. The OBR's forecast at the time of the March 2011 Budget predicted that net investment in 2011-12 would be £31.8bn, which is 19.9% below last year's level.

                      ]]>
                      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/5609 Tue, 21 Jun 2011 00:00:00 +0000
                      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: May 2011]]>

                      Headline Comparisons

                      • Public sector current budget in 2010-11 is now estimated to have been in deficit by £99.5bn compared to the initial estimated outturn published last month of a deficit of £100.9bn and the Office for Budget Responsibility's (OBR's) forecast from the March 2011 Budget of a £104.8bn deficit. These figures exclude the impact of temporary financial sector interventions.
                      • Public sector net borrowing in 2010-11 is now estimated to have been £139.4bn compared to the initial estimated outturn published last month of £141.1bn and the OBR's Budget 2011 forecast of £145.9bn, excluding the impact of temporary financial sector interventions.
                      • Public sector net debt at the end of 2010-11 is now estimated to have been £905.0bn, or 60.0% of national income, fractionally higher than the initial estimated outturn published last month but still fractionally lower than the OBR's forecast from Budget 2011. These figures exclude the impact of temporary financial sector interventions.
                      • Central government current receipts in April were 0.8% lower than in the same month last year. However, April 2010 figures were flattered by receipts from the temporary Bank Payroll Tax, which today's release suggests boosted revenues by £3.5bn. Excluding these receipts from the April 2010 figures suggests that underlying receipts grew by 8.0% in April 2011 compared to the same month a year ago. The OBR's forecast at the time of the March 2011 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2011-12 would be 7.1% above 2010-11 levels.

                      • Central government current spending in April was 5.0% higher than in the same month last year. The OBR's forecast at the time of the March 2011 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2011-12 would be 3.8% above 2010-11 levels.

                      • Public sector net investment in April was £1.6bn compared to £1.7bn in the same month last year. The OBR's forecast at the time of the March 2011 Budget predicted that net investment in 2011-12 would be £31.8bn, which is 20.3% below last year's level.

                      ]]>
                      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/5589 Tue, 24 May 2011 00:00:00 +0000
                      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: April 2011]]>

                      Headline Comparisons

                      • Public sector net borrowing, excluding the impact of financial interventions, totalled £141.1bn in 2010−11. This is £4.8bn lower than the £145.9bn forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) in their March 2011 Economic and Fiscal Outlook, and lower than the £156.5bn borrowed in 2009−10.
                      • Public sector net investment, excluding the impact of financial interventions, was £40.2bn in 2010−11. This compares to the £41.1bn forecast by the OBR in March 2011.
                      • The current budget deficit in 2010−11 was £100.9bn, excluding the impact of financial interventions, which is £3.9bn lower than the £104.8bn forecast by the OBR in March 2011.
                      • Underlying public sector net debt at the end of March 2011 stood at 59.9% of national income, which is slightly lower than the 60.3% forecast by the OBR in March. Including the impact of the financial interventions raises headline public sector net debt to 148.5%.

                      ]]>
                      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/5576 Thu, 21 Apr 2011 00:00:00 +0000
                      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: March 2011]]>

                      Headline Comparisons

                      • Central government current receipts in February were 0.9% lower than in the same month last year. The Office for Budget Responsibility's (OBR) Economic and Fiscal Outlook forecast an increase in receipts relative to last year's levels of 8.9% for the year as a whole and of 8.9% for the period from November 2010 to March 2011. The latest figures show an increase relative to last year's level of 7.7% for the year to date, with a 5.7% increase between November 2010 and February 2011 compared to the same four months last year.

                      • Central government current spending in February was 4.6% higher than in the same month last year. The OBR's latest forecast implies an increase relative to last year's level of 5.4% for the year as a whole and of 4.2% for the period from November 2010 to March 2011. The latest figures show an increase relative to last year's level of 5.9% for the year to date, with an increase of 5.1% between November 2010 and February 2011 compared to the same four months last year.

                      • Public sector net investment in February was £5.2bn, compared to £5.8bn spent in February 2010. Together, public sector net investment over the first eleven months of this financial year has been £32.7bn, which is 20% lower than in the same months of 2009−10. The OBR's latest forecast was that net investment in 2010-11 would be £42.3bn, which is 7% below last year's level.

                      ]]>
                      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/5518 Tue, 22 Mar 2011 00:00:00 +0000
                      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: February 2011]]>

                      Headline Comparisons

                      • Central government current receipts in January were 12.4% higher than in the same month last year. The Office for Budget Responsibility's (OBR) Economic and Fiscal Outlook forecast an increase in receipts relative to last year's levels of 8.9% for the year as a whole and of 8.9% for the period from November 2010 to March 2011. The latest figures show an increase relative to last year's level of 8.4% for the year to date, with an 7.2% increase between November 2010 and January 2011 compared to the same three months last year.

                      • Central government current spending in January was 4.3% higher than in the same month last year. The OBR's latest forecast implies an increase relative to last year's level of 5.4% for the year as a whole and of 4.4% for the period from November 2010 to March 2011. The latest figures show an increase relative to last year's level of 6.9% for the year to date, with an increase of 5.7% between November 2010 and January 2011 compared to the same three months last year.

                      • Public sector net investment in January was £4.7bn, compared to £5.4bn spent in January 2010. Together, public sector net investment over the first ten months of this financial year has been £28.1bn, which is 20.8% lower than in the same months of 2009−10. The OBR's latest forecast was that net investment in 2010-11 would be £42.3bn, which is 9.4% below last year's level.

                      ]]>
                      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/5490 Tue, 22 Feb 2011 00:00:00 +0000
                      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: January 2011]]>

                      Headline Comparisons

                      • Central government current receipts in December were 3.9% higher than in the same month last year. The Office for Budget Responsibility's (OBR) Economic and Fiscal Outlook forecast an increase in receipts relative to last year's levels of 8.9% for the year as a whole and of 9.2% for the period from November 2010 to March 2011. The latest figures show an increase relative to last year's level of 7.5% for the year to date, with an increase of 3.3% in November and December 2010 compared to the same two months in 2009.

                      • Central government current spending in December was 5.2% higher than in the same month last year. The OBR's latest forecast implies an increase relative to last year's level of 5.4% for the year as a whole and of 4.8% for the period from November 2010 to March 2011. The latest figures show an increase relative to last year's level of 6.0% for the year to date, with an increase of 6.7% in November and December 2010 compared to the same two months in 2009.

                      • Public sector net investment in December was £3.2bn, compared to £8.1bn spent in December 2009. Together, public sector net investment over the first nine months of this financial year has been £24.1bn, which is 19.7% lower than in the same months of 2009. The OBR's latest forecast was that net investment in 2010-11 would be £42.3bn, which is 9.2% below last year's level.

                      ]]>
                      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/5441 Tue, 25 Jan 2011 00:00:00 +0000
                      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: December 2010]]>

                      Headline Comparisons

                      • Central government current receipts in November were 3.1% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts between April and November 2010 were 8.2% higher than in the same months of 2009. The Office for Budget Responsibility's (OBR) latest Economic and Fiscal Outlook, published last month, forecast an increase in receipts relative to last year's levels of 9.0% for the year as a whole and of 9.0% for the period from November 2010 to March 2011.

                      • Central government current spending in November was 10.7% higher than in the same month last year. Spending between April and November 2010 was 6.8% higher than in the same months of 2009. The OBR's latest forecast implies an increase relative to last year's level of 5.4% for the year as a whole and of 4.4% for the period from November 2010 to March 2011.

                      • Public sector net investment in November was £3.4bn, the same as was spent in November 2009. Public sector net investment between April and November 2010 has been £21.4bn, which is 1.3% lower than in the same eight months of 2009. The OBR's latest forecast was that net investment in 2010-11 would be £42.6bn, which is 5% below last year's level.

                      ]]>
                      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/5375 Tue, 21 Dec 2010 00:00:00 +0000
                      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: November 2010]]>

                      Headline Comparisons

                      • Central government current receipts, in October were 6.8% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts between April and October 2010 were 9.2% higher than in the same months of 2009. The June 2010 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2010−11 would be 6.7% higher than 2009−10 levels.

                      • Central government current spending , in October was 5.4% higher than in the same month last year. Spending between April and October 2010 was 6.3% higher than in the same months of 2009. The June 2010 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2010−11 would be 5.6% above 2009−10 levels.

                      • Public sector net investment in October was £3.2bn, the same as was spent in October last. Public sector net investment between April and October 2010 has been £17.8bn, which is 2.9% lower than in the same seven months of 2009. The June Budget predicted that net investment in 2010−11 would be £38.9bn, which is 13.6% below last year's level.

                      ]]>
                      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/5355 Thu, 18 Nov 2010 00:00:00 +0000
                      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: October 2010]]>

                      Headline Comparisons

                      • Central government current receipts, in September were 7.8% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts between April and September 2010 were 9.3% higher than in the same months of 2009. The June 2010 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2010−11 would be 6.7% higher than 2009−10 levels.

                      • Central government current spending , in September was 10.0% higher than in the same month last year. Spending between April and September 2010 was 6.7% higher than in the same months of 2009. The June 2010 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2010−11 would be 5.6% above 2009−10 levels.

                      • Public sector net investment in September was £3.0bn compared to £3.7bn in the same month last year. Together, public sector net investment between April and September 2010 has been £15.4bn, which is 2.0% higher than in the same five months of 2009. The June Budget predicted that net investment in 2010−11 would be £38.9bn, which is 14% below last year's level.

                      ]]>
                      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/5309 Wed, 20 Oct 2010 00:00:00 +0000
                      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: September 2010]]>

                      Headline Comparisons

                      • Central government current receipts, in August were 6.3% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts between April and August 2010 were 9.0% higher than in the same months of 2009. The June 2010 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2010−11 would be 6.6% higher than 2009−10 levels.

                      • Central government current spending , in August was 10.8% higher than in the same month last year. Spending between April and August 2010 was 6.5% higher than in the same months of 2009. The June 2010 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2010−11 would be 5.6% above 2009−10 levels.

                      • Public sector net investment in August was £2.6bn compared to £3.1bn in the same month last year. Together, public sector net investment between April and August 2010 has been £11.7bn, which is 3.6% higher than in the same five months of 2009. The June Budget predicted that net investment in 2010−11 would be £38.9bn, which is 13% below last year's level.

                      ]]>
                      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/5277 Tue, 21 Sep 2010 00:00:00 +0000
                      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: August 2010]]>

                      Headline Comparisons

                      • Central government current receipts, in July were 10.5% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts between April and July 2010 were 8.5% higher than in the same months of 2009. The June 2010 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2010−11 would be 6.5% higher than 2009−10 levels.

                      • Central government current spending , in July was 5.8% higher than in the same month last year. Spending between April and July 2010 was 6.0% higher than in the same months of 2009. The June 2010 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2010−11 would be 5.5% above 2009−10 levels.

                      • Public sector net investment in July was £3.3bn compared to £2.3bn in the same month last year. Together, public sector net investment between April and July 2010 has been £8.6bn, which is 5.8% lower than in the same four months of 2009. The June Budget predicted that net investment in 2010−11 would be £38.9bn, which is 13% below last year's level.

                      ]]>
                      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/5240 Thu, 19 Aug 2010 00:00:00 +0000
                      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: July 2010]]>

                      Headline Comparisons

                      • Central government current receipts, in June were 4.0% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts between April and June 2010 were 7.8% higher than in the same months of 2009. The June 2010 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2010−11 would be 6.5% higher than 2009−10 levels.

                      • Central government current spending , in June was 4.6% higher than in the same month last year. Spending between April and June 2010 was 5.6% higher than in the same months of 2009. The June 2010 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2010−11 would be 5.5% above 2009−10 levels.

                      • Public sector net investment in June was £1.9bn compared to £2.8bn in the same month last year. Together, public sector net investment between April and June 2009 has been £5.7bn, which is 3.6% lower than in the same three months of 2009. The June Budget predicted that net investment in 2010−11 would be £38.9bn, which is 12.6% below last year's level.

                      ]]>
                      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/5203 Tue, 20 Jul 2010 00:00:00 +0000
                      <![CDATA[Public Finance bulletin: June 2010]]>

                      Headline Comparisons

                      • Central government current receipts in May were 7.6% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts in April and May 2010 were 8.7% higher than in the same months of 2009. The March 2010 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2010−11 would be 4.8% higher than 2009−10 levels.

                      • Central government current spending in May was 7.2% higher than in the same month last year. Spending in April and May 2010 was 5.9% higher than in the same months of 2009. The March 2010 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2010−11 would be 6.6% above 2009−10 levels.

                      • Public sector net investment in May was £1.9bn compared to £1.7bn in the same month last year. Together, public sector net investment during April and May 2009 has been £3.4bn, which is 12% higher than in the same two months of 2009. The March Budget predicted that net investment in 2010−11 would be £39.5bn, which is 11% below last year's level. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) last week forecast that net investment this year would be £40.7bn, 9% below last year's level.

                      ]]>
                      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/5171 Fri, 18 Jun 2010 00:00:00 +0000
                      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: May 2010]]>

                      Headline Comparisons

                      • Public sector surplus on the current budget , in 2009-10 is now estimated to have been minus £100.1bn (i.e. in deficit) compared to the initial estimated outturn published last month of minus £107.6bn. Excluding the impact of temporary financial sector interventions, these numbers are £106.4bn and £113.7bn, respectively.

                      • Public sector net borrowing, in 2009-10 is now estimated to have been £145.4bn compared to the initial estimated outturn published last month of £152.8bn. Excluding the impact of temporary financial sector interventions, these numbers are £156.1bn and £163.4bn, respectively.

                      • Public sector net debt at the end of 2009-10 is now estimated to have been £772.0bn, or 53.8% of national income, very fractionally higher than the initial estimated outturn published last month. This excludes the impact of temporary financial sector interventions.

                      • Central government current receipts in April were 7.2% higher than in the same month last year. However, the April figures are flattered by £2.0bn of receipts from the one-off bank payroll tax; excluding this reduces the growth to 2.0%. The March 2010 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2010-11 would be 4.8% above 2009-10 levels.

                      • Central government current spending in April was 6.5% higher than in the same month last year. The March 2010 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2010-11 would be 6.8% above 2009-10 levels.

                      • Public sector net investment in April was £0.7bn compared to £1.3bn in the same month last year. The March 2010 Budget predicted that net investment in 2010-11 would be £39.5bn, which is 12.7% below last year's level.

                      ]]>
                      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/4881 Fri, 21 May 2010 00:00:00 +0000
                      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: April 2010]]>

                      Headline Comparisons

                      • Public sector net borrowing, excluding the impact of financial interventions, totalled £163.4bn in 2009−10. This is £3.1bn lower than the £166.5bn forecast in the March 2010 Budget, but higher than the £96.5bn in 2008−09.

                      • Public sector net investment, excluding the impact of financial interventions, was £49.7bn in 2009-10. This compares to the £50.0bn forecast in the March 2010 Budget for 2009−10.

                      • The current budget deficit in 2009−10 was £113.7bn, excluding the impact of financial interventions, which is £2.9bn lower than the £116.6bn forecast in the March 2010 Budget.

                      • Underlying public sector net debt at the end of March 2010 stood at 53.8% of national income, which is lower than the 54.1% forecast in March's Budget. Including the impact of the financial interventions raises headline public sector net debt to 62.0%.

                      ]]>
                      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/4838 Thu, 22 Apr 2010 00:00:00 +0000
                      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: March 2010]]>

                      Headline Comparisons

                      • Central government current receipts in February were 3.6% higher than in the same month last year; there has been a fall relative to last year's levels of 6.2% for the year to date, and a 0.3% fall between November 2009 and February 2010 compared to the same four months last year. The Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2009-10 published in December implies a fall relative to last year's levels of 7.3% for the year as a whole and of 4.1% for the period from November 2009 to March 2010. A slightly less severe fall in receipts seen over the year to date than forecast by the PBR for the year as a whole may not be surprising given that the PBR forecast excludes the direct impact of financial interventions (which on the receipts side have been growing in magnitude), whereas the monthly ONS data do not.

                      • Central government current spending in February was 14.8% higher than in the same month last year, with an increase relative to last year's levels of 6.7% for the year to date, and a 7.3% increase between November 2009 and February 2010 compared to the same four months last year. The Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2009-10 published in December implies an increase relative to last year's levels of 7.4% for the year as a whole and of 8.8% for the period from November 2009 to March 2010.

                      • Public sector net investment in February was £6.3bn, the same as in February last year. Together, public sector net investment over the first eleven months of this financial year has been £37.2bn, which is 27.9% higher than in the same months of 2008-09. The Pre-Budget Report published in December suggested that net investment in 2009-10 would be about 28.3% above last year's level for the year as a whole.

                      ]]>
                      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/4795 Thu, 18 Mar 2010 00:00:00 +0000
                      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: February 2010]]>

                      Headline Comparisons

                      • Central government current receipts in January were 7.7% lower than in the same month last year. The Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2009-10 published in December implies a fall relative to last year's levels of 7.3% for the year as a whole and of 3.7% for the period from November 2009 to March 2010. The latest figures show a fall relative to last year's levels of 7.8% for the year to date, with a 3.3% fall between November and January 2009 compared to the same three months last year.

                      • Central government current spending in January was 9.6% higher than in the same month last year. The Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2009-10 published in December implies an increase relative to last year's levels of 7.4% for the year as a whole and of 9.8% for the period from November 2009 to March 2010. The latest figures show an increase relative to last year's levels of 5.8% for the year to date, with a 6.0% increase between November and January 2009 compared to the same three months last year.

                      • Public sector net investment in January was £5.5bn compared to £5.0bn in the same month last year. Together, public sector net investment over the first ten months of this financial year has been £31.7bn, which is 41.9% higher than in the same months of 2008-09. The Pre-Budget Report published in December suggested that net investment in 2009-10 would be about 29.8% above last year's level for the year as a whole.

                      ]]>
                      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/4771 Thu, 18 Feb 2010 00:00:00 +0000
                      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: January 2010]]>

                      Headline Comparisons

                      • Central government current receipts in December were 0.4% lower than in the same month last year. Last month's Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2009-10 implies a fall relative to last year's levels of 7.3% for the year as a whole and of 3.7% for the period from November 2009 to March 2010. The latest figures show a fall relative to last year's levels of 8.1% for the year to date, with a 1.0% fall in November and December 2009 compared to the same two months in 2008.

                      • Central government current spending in December was 7.5% higher than in the same month last year. Last month's Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2009-10 implies an increase relative to last year's levels of 7.4% for the year as a whole and of 9.7% for the period from November 2009 to March 2010. The latest figures show an increase relative to last year's levels of 5.8% for the year to date, with a 6.1% increase in November and December 2009 compared to the same two months in 2008.

                      • Public sector net investment in December was £4.2bn compared to £2.7bn in the same month last year. Together, public sector net investment over the first nine months of this financial year has been £26.5bn, which is 53% higher than in the same months of 2008-09. Last month's Pre-Budget Report suggested that net investment in 2009-10 would be about 30% above last year's level for the year as a whole.

                      ]]>
                      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/4723 Thu, 21 Jan 2010 00:00:00 +0000
                      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: December 2009]]>

                      Headline Comparisons

                      • Central government current receipts in November were 3.0% lower than in the same month last year. Receipts in the first eight months of this financial year have been 9.1% lower than in the same months of 2008-09. Last week's Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2009-10 implies a fall relative to last year's levels of 7.3% for the year as a whole and of 3.7% for the period from November 2009 to March 2010.

                      • Central government current spending in November was 6.4% higher than in the same month last year. Spending in the first eight months of this financial year has been 5.9% higher than in the same months of 2008-09. Last week's Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2009-10 implies an increase relative to last year's levels of 7.5% for the year as a whole and of 9.7% for the period from November 2009 to March 2010.

                      • Public sector net investment in November was £4.1bn compared to £2.3bn in the same month last year. Together, public sector net investment over the first eight months of this financial year has been £23.2bn, which is 60% higher than in the same months of 2008-09. Last week's Pre-Budget Report predicted that net investment in 2009-10 would be £49.5bn, which is 37% above last year's level.

                      ]]>
                      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/4714 Fri, 18 Dec 2009 00:00:00 +0000
                      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: November 2009]]>

                      Headline Comparisons

                      • Central government current receipts in October were 9.1% lower than in the same month last year. Receipts in the first seven months of this financial year have been 10.0% lower than in the same months of 2008-09. The 2009 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2009-10 would be 7.8% below 2008-09 levels.

                      • Central government current spending in October was 10.2% higher than in the same month last year. Spending in the first seven months of this financial year has been 6.0% higher than in the same months of 2008-09. The 2009 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2009-10 would be 7.5% above 2008-09 levels.

                      • Public sector net investment in October was £3.7bn compared to £2.3bn in the same month last year. Together, public sector net investment over the first seven months of this financial year has been £18.7bn, which is 61% higher than in the same months of 2008-09. The Budget predicted that net investment in 2009-10 would be £43.8bn, which is 24% above last year's level.

                      ]]>
                      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/4659 Thu, 19 Nov 2009 00:00:00 +0000
                      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: October 2009]]>

                      Headline Comparisons

                      • Central government current receipts in September were 6.3% lower than in the same month last year. Receipts in the first half of this financial year have been 10.3% lower than in the same months of 2008-09. The 2009 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2009-10 would be 7.8% below 2008-09 levels.

                      • Central government current spending in September was 4.9% higher than in the same month last year. Spending in the first half of this financial year has been 4.7% higher than in the same months of 2008-09. The 2009 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2009-10 would be 7.5% above 2008-09 levels.

                      • Public sector net investment in September was £3.5bn compared to £1.2bn in the same month last year. Together, public sector net investment over the first half of this financial year has been £15.8bn, which is 67% higher than in the same months of 2008-09. The Budget predicted that net investment in 2009-10 would be £43.8bn, which is 23% above last year's level.

                      ]]>
                      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/4652 Tue, 20 Oct 2009 00:00:00 +0000
                      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: September 2009]]>

                      Headline Comparisons

                      • Central government current receipts in August were 9.2% lower than in the same month last year. Receipts between April and August 2009 were 11.4% lower than in the same months of 2008. The 2009 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2009-10 would be 7.6% below 2008-09 levels.

                      • Central government current spending in August was 3.0% higher than in the same month last year. Spending between April and August 2009 was 5.3% higher than in the same months of 2008. The 2009 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2009-10 would be 7.4% above 2008-09 levels.

                      • Public sector net investment in August was £3.3bn compared to £2.1bn in the same month last year. Together, public sector net investment between April and August 2009 has been £12.4bn, which is 37% higher than in the same three months of 2008. The Budget predicted that net investment in 2009-10 would be £43.8bn, which is 16% above last year's level.

                      ]]>
                      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/4620 Fri, 18 Sep 2009 00:00:00 +0000
                      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: August 2009]]>

                      Headline comparisons

                      • Central government current receipts in July were 15.3% lower than in the same month last year. Receipts between April and July 2009 were 11.9% lower than in the same months of 2008. The 2009 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2009-10 would be 7.5% below 2008-09 levels.

                      • Central government current spending in July was 7.5% higher than in the same month last year. Spending between April and July 2009 was 6.2% higher than in the same months of 2008. The 2009 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2009-10 would be 7.4% above 2008-09 levels.

                      • Public sector net investment in July was £2.9bn compared to £2.6bn in the same month last year. Together, public sector net investment between April and July 2009 has been £9.7bn, which is 39% higher than in the same three months of 2008. The Budget predicted that net investment in 2009-10 would be £43.8bn, which is 14.5% above last year's level.

                      ]]>
                      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/4595 Thu, 20 Aug 2009 00:00:00 +0000
                      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: July 2009]]>

                      Headline comparisons

                      • Public sector current receipts in June were 5.7% lower than in the same month last year. Receipts between April and June 2009 were 9.4% lower than in the same months of 2008. The 2009 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2009-10 would be 7.4% below 2008-09 levels.

                      • Central government current spending in June was 2.8% higher than in the same month last year. Spending between April and June 2009 was 5.5% higher than in the same months of 2008. The 2009 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2009-10 would be 7.3% above 2008-09 levels.

                      • Public sector net investment in June was £3.1bn compared to £1.7bn in the same month last year. Together, public sector net investment between April and June 2009 has been £7.1bn, which is 59% higher than in the same three months of 2008. The Budget predicted that net investment in 2009-10 would be £43.8bn, which is 21.0% above last year's level.

                      ]]>
                      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/4569 Tue, 21 Jul 2009 00:00:00 +0000
                      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: June 2009]]>

                      Headline comparisons

                      • Public sector current receipts in May were 10.8% lower than in the same month last year. Receipts in April and May 2009 were 11.2% lower than in the same months of 2008. The 2009 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2009-10 would be 7.4% below 2008-09 levels.

                      • Central government current spending in May was 7.4% higher than in the same month last year. Spending in April and May 2009 was 7.3% higher than in the same months of 2008. The 2009 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2009-10 would be 7.3% above 2008-09 levels.

                      • Public sector net investment in May was £2.3bn compared to £1.7bn in the same month last year. Together, public sector net investment during April and May 2008 has been £4.0bn, which is 46% higher than in the same two months of 2008. The Budget predicted that net investment in 2009-10 would be £43.8bn, which is 21.0% above last year's level.

                      ]]>
                      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/4545 Thu, 18 Jun 2009 00:00:00 +0000
                      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: May 2009]]>

                      Headline comparisons

                      • Public sector surplus on the current budget in 2008-09 is now estimated to have been minus £49.5bn (i.e. in deficit) compared to the initial estimated outturn published in last month's Budget of minus £52.3bn.

                      • Public sector net borrowing in 2008-09 is now estimated to have been £86.7bn compared to the initial estimated outturn published in last month's Budget of £90.0bn.

                      • Public sector net debt at the end of 2008-09 is now estimated to have been £609.0bn, or 42.9% of national income, fractionally lower than the April 2009 Budget estimate of 43.0%. This figure excludes the impact of the financial sector interventions. The interventions that have been incorporated into the official figures, which include the nationalisation of Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley, amounted at the end of March 2009 to £134.5bn or 9.5% of national income. The ONS has confirmed that Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland will also be classed as public sector corporations. However these two banking groups have not yet been fully incorporated into the public finances.

                      • Central government current receipts in April were 9.5% lower than in the same month last year. The 2009 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2009-10 would be 7.5% below 2008-09 levels.

                      • Central government current spending in April was 5.4% higher than in the same month last year. The 2009 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2009-10 would be 7.4% above 2008-09 levels.

                      • Public sector net investment in April was £1.5bn compared to £1.1bn in the same month last year. The Budget predicted that net investment in 2009-10 would be £43.8bn, which is 17.6% above last year's level.

                      ]]>
                      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/4532 Thu, 21 May 2009 00:00:00 +0000
                      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: April 2009]]>

                      Headline comparisons

                      • Central government current receipts in 2008-09 were £492.1bn, compared to the £507.0bn forecast in the November 2008 Pre-Budget Report for 2008-09, and the £510.2bn received in 2007-08.

                      • Central government current spending in 2008-09 was £543.5bn, compared to the £546.1bn forecast in the November 2008 Pre-Budget Report for 2008-09, and the £516.1bn spent in 2007-08.

                      • Public sector net investment in 2008-09 was £37.7bn, compared to the £36.5bn forecast in the November 2008 Pre-Budget Report for 2008-09, and the £29.3bn spent on investment in 2007-08.

                      • Taking receipts and spending together, the current budget deficit in 2008-09 was £52.3bn in 2008-09, which is £11.1bn higher than the £41.2bn forecast in the November 2008 Pre-Budget Report.

                      • Public sector net borrowing totalled £90.0bn in 2008-09, which is £12.4bn higher than the £77.6bn forecast in the November 2008 Pre-Budget Report.

                      • Underlying public sector net debt at the end of March 2009 stood at 41.7% of national income, this is higher than the 41.2% forecast in November's Pre-Budget Report. Including the impact of nationalising Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley raises headline public sector net debt to 50.9%.

                      ]]>
                      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/4489 Wed, 22 Apr 2009 00:00:00 +0000
                      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: March 2009]]>

                      Headline comparisons

                      • Central government current receipts in February were 9.8% lower than in the same month last year. The Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2008-09 published in November implies a fall relative to last year's levels of 0.6% for the year as a whole and a fall of 2.6% for the period from November 2008 to March 2009. The latest figures show a fall relative to last year's levels of 3.1% for the year to date, with a 9.3% fall between November 2008 and February 2009 compared to the same four months last year.

                      • Central government current spending in February was 6.5% higher than in the same month last year. The Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2008-09 published in November implies an increase over last year's levels of 5.8% for the year as a whole and of 6.1% for the period from November 2008 to March 2009. The latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 5.7% for the year to date, and a 5.9% increase between November 2008 and February 2009 compared to the same four months last year.

                      • Public sector net investment in February was £7.1bn, compared to £5.7bn in February 2008. So far in 2008-09, a total amount of £31.4bn has been spent on public sector net investment, which is 50% higher than had been spent by the same point in 2007-08. The Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2008-09 published in November predicted that net investment in 2008-09 as a whole would be £36.5bn, which is 25% above last year's level and implies an increase of 9% for the period from November 2008 to March 2009.

                      ]]>
                      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/4463 Thu, 19 Mar 2009 00:00:00 +0000
                      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: February 2009]]>

                      Headline comparisons

                      • Central government current receipts in January were 11.0% lower than in the same month last year. The Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2008-09 published in November implies a fall relative to last year's levels of 0.6% for the year as a whole and a fall of 2.6% for the period from November 2008 to March 2009. The latest figures show a fall relative to last year's levels of 2.4% for the year to date, with a 9.4% fall between November 2008 and January 2009 compared to the same three months last year.

                      • Central government current spending in January was 6.7% higher than in the same month last year. The Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2008-09 published in November implies an increase over last year's levels of 5.8% for the year as a whole and of 6.2% for the period from November 2008 to March 2009. The latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 5.5% for the year to date, and a 5.3% increase between November 2008 and January 2009 compared to the same three months last year.

                      • Public sector net investment in January was £5.0bn, compared to £1.4bn in January 2008. So far in 2008-09, a total amount of £24.7bn has been spent on public sector net investment, which is 54% higher than had been spent by the same point in 2007-08. The Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2008-09 published in November predicted that net investment in 2008-09 as a whole would be £36.5bn, which is 23% above last year's level and implies an increase of 5% for the period from November 2008 to March 2009.

                      ]]>
                      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/4436 Thu, 19 Feb 2009 00:00:00 +0000
                      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: January 2009]]>

                      Headline comparisons

                      • Central government current receipts in December were 5.5% lower than in the same month last year. The Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2008-09 published in November implies a fall relative to last year's levels of 0.6% for the year as a whole and a fall of 2.7% for the period from November 2008 to March 2009. The latest figures show a fall relative to last year's levels of 0.5% for the year to date, with a 6.2% fall in November and December 2008 compared to the same two months last year.

                      • Central government current spending in December was 5.9% higher than in the same month last year. The Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2008-09 published in November implies an increase over last year's levels of 5.8% for the year as a whole and of 5.9% for the period from November 2008 to March 2009. The latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 5.8% for the year to date, and a 5.8% increase in November and December 2008 over the same two months last year.

                      • Public sector net investment in December was £3.5bn, the same as in December 2007. So far in 2008-09, a total amount of £20.9bn has been spent on public sector net investment, which is 42.3% higher than had been spent by the same point in 2007-08. The Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2008-09 published in November predicted that net investment in 2008-09 as a whole would be £36.5bn, which is 22.5% above last year's level and implies an increase of 3.9% for the period from November 2008 to March 2009.

                      ]]>
                      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/4407 Wed, 21 Jan 2009 00:00:00 +0000
                      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: December 2008]]>

                      Headline comparisons

                      • Central government current receipts in November were 5.2% lower than in the same month last year. Receipts in the first eight months of 2008-09 were 0.5% higher than in the same months of 2007-08. Last month's Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2008-09 implies a fall relative to last year's levels of 0.6% for the year as a whole and of 3.0% for the period from November 2008 to March 2009.

                      • Central government current spending in November was 6.2% higher than in the same month last year. Spending in the first eight months of 2008-09 was 6.1% higher than in the same months of 2007-08. Last month's Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2008-09 implies an increase over last year's levels of 5.6% for the year as a whole and of 5.0% for the period from November 2008 to March 2009.

                      • Public sector net investment in November was £3.0bn, compared to £2.5bn in the same month last year. Together, public sector net investment during the first eight months of 2008-09 has been £16.7bn, which is 50% higher than in the same months of 2007-08. Last month's Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2008-09 implies an increase of 24% for the year as a whole and an increase of 9% for the period from November 2008 to March 2009.

                      • Public sector net borrowing during the first eight months of 2008-09 was £56.1bn, which is 92.1% higher than the same period last year. The next four months is also set to see a further increase in borrowing of around £5bn as a direct impact of measures announced by Alistair Darling that are yet to be fully reflected in the monthly figures for borrowing. For example the thirteen month 2.5 percentage point reduction in the main rate of VAT, which came into force from 1st December 2008, is costed by the Treasury at £3.8bn in 2008-09, while extra support for all pensioners and all families with children from January is costed at £1.1bn. Taking the expected cost of all these measures into account and assuming that the underlying trend in borrowing were to continue for the remaining four months of this financial year, then Public Sector Net Borrowing for the year as a whole would be around £73bn. This is compared to the £77.6bn forecast in last month's Pre-Budget Report and the £42.5bn forecast in the March 2008 Budget.

                      ]]>
                      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/4401 Thu, 18 Dec 2008 00:00:00 +0000
                      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: November 2008]]>

                      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.

                      ]]>
                      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/4362 Thu, 20 Nov 2008 00:00:00 +0000
                      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: October 2008]]>

                      Headline comparisons

                      • Central government current receipts in September were 2.4% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts in the first six months of 2008-09 were 2.0% 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 September was 5.1% higher than in the same month last year. Spending in the first six months of 2008-09 was 6.1% 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 September was £2.2bn, compared to £1.5bn in the same month last year. Together, public sector net investment during the first six months of 2008-09 has been £12.1bn, which is 44.4% higher than in the same months of 2007. The Budget predicted that net investment in 2008-09 would be £33.8bn, which is 13.1% above last year's level.

                      • Public sector net borrowing during the first six months on 2008-09 was £37.6bn, which is 75.2% higher than the same period last year. If this trend were to continue for the second half 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 £64bn. This is compared to the £42.5bn forecast in the March 2008 Budget. It should be remembered that the average absolute error in forecasting one year ahead has been around £15bn. So an error of this magnitude would be only slightly larger than average.

                      ]]>
                      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/4338 Mon, 20 Oct 2008 00:00:00 +0000
                      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: September 2008]]>

                      Headline comparisons

                      • Central government current receipts in August were 1.8% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts in the first five months of 2008-09 were 2.3% 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 5.0% above 2007-08 levels.

                      • Central government current spending in August was 7.8% higher than in the same month last year. Spending in the first five months of 2008-09 was 6.4% 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 5.3% above 2007-08 levels.

                      • Public sector net investment in August was £2.6bn, compared to £1.7bn in the same month last year. Together, public sector net investment during the first five months of 2008-09 has been £8.8bn, which is 38% higher than in the same months of 2007. The Budget predicted that net investment in 2008-09 would be £33.8bn, which is 17.9% above last year's level.

                      ]]>
                      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/4313 Thu, 18 Sep 2008 00:00:00 +0000
                      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: August 2008]]>

                      Headline comparisons

                      • Central government current receipts in July were 2.7% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts in the first four months of 2008-09 were 2.9% 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 4.8% above 2007-08 levels.

                      • Central government current spending in July was 6.9% higher than in the same month last year. Spending in the first four months of 2008-09 was 7.0% 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 5.3% above 2007-08 levels.

                      • Public sector net investment in July was £1.8bn, compared to £2.1bn in the same month last year. Together, public sector net investment during the first four months of 2008-09 has been £5.8bn, which is 33.0% higher than in the same months of 2007. The Budget predicted that net investment in 2008-09 would be £33.8bn, which is 20.6% above last year's level.

                      ]]>
                      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/4309 Wed, 20 Aug 2008 00:00:00 +0000
                      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: July 2008]]>

                      Headline comparisons

                      • Central government current receipts in June were 2.5% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts in April, May and June 2008 were 2.5% 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 4.7% above 2007-08 levels.

                      • Central government current spending in June was 6.9% higher than in the same month last year. Spending in April, May and June 2008 was also 6.9% 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 June was £1.5bn, compared to £1.0bn in the same month last year. Together, public sector net investment during April, May and June 2008 has been £4.0bn, which is 77.2% higher than in the same months of 2007. The Budget predicted that net investment in 2008-09 would be £33.8bn, which is 20.6% above last year's level.

                      ]]>
                      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/4297 Fri, 18 Jul 2008 00:00:00 +0000
                      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: June 2008]]>

                      Headline Comparisons

                      • Central government current receipts in May were 2.7% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts in April and May 2008 were 3.6% 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 4.8% above 2007-08 levels.

                      • Central government current spending in May was 3.5% higher than in the same month last year. Spending in April and May 2008 was 5.4% 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 May was £1.9bn, compared to £1.0bn in the same month last year. Together, public sector net investment during April and May 2008 has been £3.4bn, which is 167% higher than in the same two months of 2007. The Budget predicted that net investment in 2008-09 would be £33.8bn, which is 22.2% above last year's level.

                        ]]> http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/4267 Thu, 19 Jun 2008 00:00:00 +0000 <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: May 2008]]>

                        Headline Comparisons

                        • Public sector surplus on the current budget in 2007-08 is now estimated to have been minus £5.7bn (i.e. in deficit) compared to last month's estimates which suggested a deficit of £7.6bn, the March 2008 Budget projection of minus £7.9bn (and the March 2007 Budget projection of minus £4.3bn).
                        • Public sector net borrowing in 2007-08 is now estimated to have been £34.3bn compared to last month's estimates which suggested borrowing of £35.6bn, the March 2008 Budget projection of £36.4bn (and the March 2007 Budget projection of £33.7bn).
                        • Public sector net debt at the end of 2007-08 is now estimated to have been £527.7bn, or 36.7% of national income, the same as last month's estimates and lower than the March 2008 Budget projection of 37.1% (and the March 2007 Budget projection of 38.2%). This figure excludes the impact of the reclassification of Northern Rock plc and the Bank of England onto the public sector balance sheet. Figures in today's press release from the ONS show that including the net liabilities of these organisations would increase public sector net debt at the end of March 2008 from £527.7bn to £620.1bn (or 43.1% of national income).
                        • Central government current receipts in April were 3.7% higher than in the same month last year. The 2008 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2008-09 would be 4.7% above 2007-08 levels.
                        • Central government current spending in April was 3.6% higher than in the same month last year. The 2008 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2008-09 would be 5.3% above 2007-08 levels.
                        • Public sector net investment in April was £0.05bn compared to £0.1bn in the same month last year. The Budget predicted that net investment in 2008-09 would be £33.8bn, which is 18.0% above last year's level.

                        ]]>
                        http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/4226 Wed, 21 May 2008 00:00:00 +0000
                        <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: April 2008]]>

                        Headline Comparisons

                        • Public sector current budget in 2007-08 was in deficit by £7.6bn compared to the March 2008 Budget projection of a deficit of £7.9bn (and the March 2007 Budget projection for a deficit of £4.3bn).
                        • Public sector net borrowing in 2007-08 was £35.6bn compared to the March 2008 Budget projection of £36.4bn (and the March 2007 Budget projection of £33.7bn).
                        • Public sector net debt at the end of 2007-08 was £527.7bn, or 36.7% of national income compared to the March 2008 Budget projection of 37.1% (and the March 2007 Budget projection of 38.2%).
                        • Central government current receipts in March were 7.6% higher than in the same month last year and over the whole of 2007-08 were 5.7% above the outturn for 2006-07. Overall, current receipts in 2007-08 are thought to have been £510.8bn, compared to the March 2008 Budget projection of £511.5bn (and the March 2007 Budget projection of £515.7bn).
                        • Central government current spending in March was 7.6% higher than in the same month last year and over the whole of 2007-08 was 6.1% above the outturn for 2006-07. Overall, current spending in 2007-08 is now thought to have been £518.6bn compared to the March 2008 Budget projection of £519.1bn (and the March 2007 Budget projection of £518.6bn).
                        • Public sector net investment in March was 6.5% higher than in the same month last year and over the whole of 2007-08 was 8.6% above the outturn for 2006-07. Overall, net investment in 2007-08 is now thought to have been £28.0bn compared to the March 2008 Budget projection of £28.5bn (and the March 2007 Budget projection of £29.4bn).

                        ]]>
                        http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/4187 Fri, 18 Apr 2008 00:00:00 +0000
                        <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: March 2008]]>

                        Headline Comparisons

                        • Central government current receipts in February were 2.5% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts in the first eleven months of 2007-08 were 5.4% higher than in the same months of 2006-07. The 2008 Budget, published last week, implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2007-08 would be 5.8% above 2006-07 levels.
                        • Central government current spending in February was 6.9% higher than in the same month last year. Spending in the first eleven months of 2007-08 was 6.4% higher than in the same months of 2006-07. The 2008 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2007-08 would be 6.2% above 2006-07 levels.
                        • Public sector net investment in February was £1.6bn, or 50%, higher than in the same month last year. Together, public sector net investment during the first eleven months of 2007-08 has been £22.1bn, which is 10.5% higher than in the same months of 2006-07. The Budget predicted that net investment in 2007-08 would be £28.5bn, which is 10.6% above last year's level.

                          ]]> http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/4167 Thu, 20 Mar 2008 00:00:00 +0000 <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: February 2008]]>

                          Headline Comparisons

                          • Central government current receipts in January were 12.0% higher than in the same month last year. The Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2007-08 published in October implies an increase over last year's levels of 6.0% for the year as a whole and of 6.6% for the period from September 2007 to March 2008. The latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 5.8% for the year to date, and a 6.6% increase between September 2007 and January 2008 over the same five months last year.
                          • Central government current spending in January was 9.3% higher than in the same month last year. The Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2007-08 published in October implies an increase over last year's levels of 6.5% for the year as a whole and of 6.6% for the period from September 2007 to March 2008. The latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 6.3% for the year to date, and a 6.2% increase between September 2007 and January 2008 over the same five months last year.
                          • Public sector net investment in January was £2.8bn compared to £2.9bn in the same month in 2007. So far in 2007-08, a total amount of £18.0bn has been spent on public sector net investment, which is 7.0% higher than had been spent by the same point in 2006-07. The Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2007-08 published in October predicted that net investment in 2007-08 as a whole would be £29.7bn, which is 15.1% above last year's level and implies an increase of 23.4% for the period from September 2007 to March 2008.

                            ]]> http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/4147 Wed, 20 Feb 2008 00:00:00 +0000 <![CDATA[Public Sector Net Debt and Northern Rock]]> Today the Office for National Statistics announced that Northern Rock plc and the Bank of England are both to be classified as part of the public sector. This will temporarily push public sector net debt significantly above the ceiling of 40% of national income set down as one of Gordon Brown's fiscal rules in 1998. But the long term impact on net debt - and the need for any fiscal policy response - remains uncertain for the time being.

                            ]]>
                            http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/4127 Thu, 07 Feb 2008 00:00:00 +0000
                            <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: January 2008]]>

                            Headline Comparisons

                            • Central government current receipts in December were 3.9% higher than in the same month last year. The Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2007-08 published in October implies an increase over last year's levels of 5.9% for the year as a whole and of 6.6% for the period from September 2007 to March 2008. The latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 4.9% for the year to date, and a 4.8% increase between September and December 2007 over the same four months last year.
                            • Central government current spending in December was 3.1% higher than in the same month last year. The Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2007-08 published in October implies an increase over last year's levels of 6.5% for the year as a whole and of 6.3% for the period from September 2007 to March 2008. The latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 6.1% for the year to date, and a 5.3% increase between September and December 2007 over the same four months last year.
                            • Public sector net investment in December was £2.7bn compared to £2.4bn in the same month in 2006. So far in 2007-08, a total amount of £15.6bn has been spent on public sector net investment, which is 12.3% higher than had been spent by the same point in 2006-07. The Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2007-08 published in October predicted that net investment in 2007-08 as a whole would be £29.7bn, which is 15.5% above last year's level and implies an increase of 27.2% for the period from September 2007 to March 2008.

                              ]]> http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/4110 Mon, 21 Jan 2008 00:00:00 +0000 <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: December 2007]]>

                              Headline Comparisons

                              • Central government current receipts in November were 7.2% higher than in the same month last year. Last month's Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2007-08 implies an increase over last year's levels of 6.0% for the year as a whole and of 6.7% for the period from September 2007 to March 2008. The latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 5.1% for the year to date, and a 5.4% increase between September and November 2007 over the same three months last year.
                              • Central government current spending in November was 7.2% higher than in the same month last year. Last month's Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2007-08 implies an increase over last year's levels of 6.5% for the year as a whole and of 6.4% for the period from September 2007 to March 2008. The latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 6.7% for the year to date, and a 6.9% increase between September and November 2007 over the same three months last year.
                              • Public sector net investment in November was £2.1bn compared to £1.8bn in the same month in 2006. So far in 2007-08, a total amount of £13.1bn has been spent on public sector net investment, which is 14.1% higher than had been spent by the same point in 2006-07. Last month's Pre-Budget Report predicted that net investment in 2007-08 as a whole would be £29.7bn, which is 15.5% above last year's level and implies an increase of 28.4% for the period from September 2007 to March 2008.

                                ]]> http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/4100 Thu, 20 Dec 2007 00:00:00 +0000 <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: November 2007]]>

                                Headline Comparisons

                                • Central government current receipts in October were 4.4% higher than in the same month last year. Last month's Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2007-08 implies an increase over last year's levels of 6.0% for the year as a whole and of 6.7% for the period from September 2007 to March 2008. The latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 5.0% for the year to date, and a 5.2% increase in September and October 2007 over the same two months last year.
                                • Central government current spending in October was 8.7% higher than in the same month last year. Last month's Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2007-08 implies an increase over last year's levels of 6.0% for the year as a whole and of 6.7% for the period from September 2007 to March 2008. The latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 6.7% for the year to date, and an 8.0% increase in September and October 2007 over the same two months last year.
                                • Public sector net investment in October was £2.6bn compared to just £0.9bn in the same month in 2006. So far in 2007-08, a total amount of £12.7bn has been spent on public sector net investment, which is 24.6% higher than had been spent by the same point in 2006-07. Last month's Pre-Budget Report predicted that net investment in 2007-08 as a whole would be £29.7bn, which is 13.1% above last year's level and implies an increase of 18.8% for the period from September 2007 to March 2008.

                                  ]]> http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/4089 Tue, 20 Nov 2007 00:00:00 +0000 <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: October 2007]]>

                                  Headline Comparisons

                                  • Central government current receipts in September were 4.6% higher than in the same month last year. Last week's Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2007-08 implies an increase over last year's levels of 6.1% for the year as a whole and of 6.8% for the period from September 2007 to March 2008. The latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 4.9 % for the year to date.
                                  • Central government current spending in September was 5.4% higher than in the same month last year. Last week's Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2007-08 implies an increase over last year's levels of 6.1% for the year as a whole and of 6.8% for the period from September 2007 to March 2008. The latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 6.3% for the year to date.
                                  • Public sector net investment in September was £1.2bn, or 68%, higher than in the same month last year. Last week's Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2007-08 implies an increase of 13.1% for the year as a whole and an increase of 19.5% for the period from September 2007 to March 2008. Together, public sector net investment during the first six months of 2007-08 has been £10.3bn, which is 10.8% higher than in the same months of 2006-07.

                                    ]]> http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/4067 Thu, 18 Oct 2007 00:00:00 +0000 <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: September 2007]]>

                                    Headline Comparisons

                                    • Central government current receipts in August were 3.6% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts in the first five months of 2007-08 were 5.1% higher than in the same months of 2006-07. The 2007 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2007-08 would be 6.7% above 2006-07 levels.
                                    • Central government current spending in August was 7.4% higher than in the same month last year. Spending in the first five months of 2007-08 was 6.4% higher than in the same months of 2006-07. The 2007 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2007-08 would be 6.1% above 2006-07 levels.
                                    • Public sector net investment in August was £0.8bn, or 67%, higher than in the same month last year. Together, public sector net investment during the first five months of 2007-08 has been £7.5bn, which is 0.5% higher than in the same months of 2006-07. The Budget predicted that net investment in 2007-08 would be £29.4bn, which is 11.8% above last year's level.

                                      ]]> http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/4044 Mon, 24 Sep 2007 00:00:00 +0000 <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: August 2007]]>

                                      Headline Comparisons

                                      • Central government current receipts in July were 5.5% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts in the first four months of 2007-08 were 5.7% higher than in the same months of 2006-07. The 2007 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2007-08 would be 6.8% above 2006-07 levels.

                                      • Central government current spending in July was 6.4% higher than in the same month last year. Spending in the first four months of 2007-08 was also 6.4% higher than in the same months of 2006-07. The 2007 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2007-08 would be 6.0% above 2006-07 levels.

                                      • Public sector net investment in July was £0.5bn, or 29.5%, higher than in the same month last year. Public sector net investment has totalled £5.6bn during the first four months of 2007-08, down 8.6% on the same months of 2006-07. The Budget predicted that net investment in 2007-08 would be £29.4bn, which is 14.7% above last year's level.

                                      ]]>
                                      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/4009 Mon, 20 Aug 2007 00:00:00 +0000
                                      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: July 2007]]>

                                      Headline Comparisons

                                      • Central government current receipts in June were 5.2% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts in the first three months of 2007-08 were also 5.2% higher than in the same months of 2006-07. The 2007 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2007-08 would be 6.5% above 2006-07 levels.
                                      • Central government current spending in June was 4.7% higher than in the same month last year. Spending in the first three months of 2007-08 was 5.5% higher than in the same months of 2006-07. The 2007 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2007-08 would be 5.8% above 2006-07 levels
                                      • Public sector net investment in June was £0.5bn, or 45.0%, higher than in the same month last year. Public sector net investment has totalled £4.6bn during the first three months of 2007-08, up 5.2% on the same months of 2006-07. The Budget predicted that net investment in 2007-08 would be £29.4bn, which is 17.6% above last year's level.

                                      ]]>
                                      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/3993 Thu, 19 Jul 2007 00:00:00 +0000
                                      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: June 2007]]>

                                      Headline Comparisons

                                      • Central government current receipts in May were 6.3% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts in April and May 2007 were 5.7% higher than in the same months of 2006. The 2007 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2007-08 would be 6.6% above 2006-07 levels.
                                      • Central government current spending in May was 7.2% higher than in the same month last year. Spending in April and May 2007 was 6.3% higher than in the same months of 2006. The 2007 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2007-08 would be 5.6% above 2006-07 levels.
                                      • Public sector net investment in May was £1.3bn, or 8.2% lower, than in the same month last year. Together, public sector net investment during April and May 2007 has been £2.8bn, which is 15.8% lower than in the same two months of 2006. The Budget predicted that net investment in 2007-08 would be £29.4bn, which is 18.5% above last year's level.

                                      ]]>
                                      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/3986 Wed, 20 Jun 2007 00:00:00 +0000
                                      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: May 2007]]>

                                      Headline Comparisons

                                      • Public sector surplus on the current budget in 2006-07 is now estimated to have been £7.6bn (i.e. in deficit) compared to last month's estimates which suggested a deficit of £8.8bn, the March 2007 Budget projection of minus £9.5bn (and the March 2006 Budget projection of minus £7.0bn).
                                      • Public sector net borrowing in 2006-07 is now estimated to have been £33.8bn compared to last month's estimates which suggested borrowing of £33.6bn, the March 2007 Budget projection of £35.0bn (and the March 2006 Budget projection of £35.8bn).
                                      • Public sector net debt at the end of 2006-07 is now estimated to have been £501.4bn, or 37.4% of national income, unchanged from last month's estimates and compared to the March 2007 Budget projection of 37.2% (and the March 2006 Budget projection of 37.5%).
                                      • Central government current receipts in April were 4.1% higher than in the same month last year. The 2007 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2007-08 would be 6.9% above 2006-07 levels.
                                      • Central government current spending in April was 4.8% higher than in the same month last year. The 2007 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2007-08 would be 5.7% above 2006-07 levels.
                                      • Public sector net investment in April was £1.3bn compared to £2.0bn in the same month last year. The Budget predicted that net investment in 2007-08 would be £29.4bn, which is 12.3% above last year's level.

                                      ]]>
                                      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/3978 Mon, 21 May 2007 00:00:00 +0000
                                      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: April 2007]]>

                                      Headline Comparisons

                                      • Public sector surplus on the current budget in 2006-07 was minus £8.8bn (i.e. in deficit) compared to the March 2007 Budget projection of minus £9.5bn (and the March 2006 Budget projection of minus £7.0bn).
                                      • Public sector net borrowing in 2006-07 was £33.6bn compared to the March 2007 Budget projection of £35.0bn (and the March 2006 Budget projection of £35.8bn).
                                      • Public sector net debt at the end of 2006-07 was £501.0bn, or 37.4% of national income compared to the March 2007 Budget projection of 37.2% (and the March 2006 Budget projection of 37.5%).
                                      • Central government current receipts in March were 4.3% higher than in the same month last year and over the whole of 2006-07 were 6.6% above the outturn for 2005-06. Overall, current receipts in 2006-07 are thought to have been £482.2bn, compared to the March 2007 Budget projection of £482.1bn (and the March 2006 Budget projection of £480.9bn).
                                      • Central government current spending in March was 4.5% higher than in the same month last year and over the whole of 2006-07 was 5.3% above the outturn for 2005-06. Overall, current spending in 2006-07 is now thought to have been £491.0bn compared to the March 2007 Budget projection of £490.9bn (and the March 2006 Budget projection of £487.2bn).
                                      • Public sector net investment in March was 11.4% higher than in the same month last year and over the whole of 2006-07 was 9.6% above the outturn for 2005-06. Overall, net investment in 2006-07 is now thought to have been £24.9bn compared to the March 2007 Budget projection of £25.5bn (and the March 2006 Budget projection of £28.8bn).

                                      ]]>
                                      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/3957 Tue, 24 Apr 2007 00:00:00 +0000
                                      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: March 2007]]>

                                      Headline Comparisons

                                      • Central government current receipts in February were 8.3% higher than in the same month last year. The December 2006 Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2006-07 implies an increase over last year's levels of 6.8% for the year as a whole and of 7.0% for the period from November 2006 to March 2007. The latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 6.6% for the year to date and a 6.4% increase in November 2006 to February 2007 over the same four months last year. In order for the PBR projection to be met, central government current receipts in March 2007 would need to be 6.8% higher than in the same month last year.
                                      • Central government current spending in February was 0.9% higher than in the same month last year. The December 2006 Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2006-07 implies an increase over last year's levels of 4.8% for the year as a whole and of 1.9% for the period from November 2006 to March 2007. The latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 5.6% for the year to date and a 3.1% increase in November 2006 to February 2007 over the same four months last year. In order for the PBR projection to be met, central government current spending in March 2007 would need to be 3.1% lower than in the same month last year.
                                      • Public sector net investment in February was £0.3bn lower (9.4%) than in the same month last year. The December 2006 Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2006-07 implies an increase of 27.1% for the year as a whole and an increase of 31.8% for the period from November 2006 to March 2007. The latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 7.1% for the year to date and a 3.5% decrease in November 2006 to February 2007 over the same four months last year. In order for the PBR projection to be met, public sector net investment in March 2007 would need to be more than double its level in the same month last year.

                                      ]]>
                                      http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/3908 Tue, 20 Mar 2007 00:00:00 +0000
                                      <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: February 2007]]>

                                      Headline Comparisons

                                      • Central government current receipts in January were 0.2% higher than in the same month last year. The December 2006 Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2006-07 implies an increase over last year's levels of 6.8% for the year as a whole and of 7.0% for the period from November 2006 to March 2007. The latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 5.9% for the year to date and a 4.4% increase in November 2006 to January 2007 over the same three months last year.
                                      • Central government current spending in January was 6.1% higher than in the same month last year. The December 2006 Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2006-07 implies an increase over last year's levels of 4.9% for the year as a whole and of 2.4% for the period from November 2006 to March 2007. The latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 6.0% for the year to date and a 4.3% increase in November 2006 to January 2006 over the same three months last year.
                                      • Public sector net investment in January was £0.9bn higher (31.0%) than in the same month last year. The December 2006 Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2006-07 implies an increase of 21.8% for the year as a whole and an increase of 24.3% for the period from November 2006 to March 2007. The latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 15.8% for the year to date and a 10.4% increase in November 2006 to January 2007 over the same two months last year.

                                        ]]> http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/3856 Tue, 20 Feb 2007 00:00:00 +0000 <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: January 2007]]>

                                        Headline Comparisons

                                        • Central government current receipts in December were 9.1% higher than in the same month last year. Last month's Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2006-07 implies an increase over last year's levels of 6.9% for the year as a whole and of 7.1% for the period from November 2006 to March 2007. The latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 6.7% for the year to date and a 6.6% increase in November and December 2006 over the same two months last year.
                                        • Central government current spending in December was 4.8% higher than in the same month last year. Last month's Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2006-07 implies an increase over last year's levels of 5.0% for the year as a whole and of 2.7% for the period from November 2006 to March 2007. The latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 6.1% for the year to date and a 4.0% increase in November and December 2006 over the same two months last year. The ONS/HMT press release notes that the allocation of central government spending over the nine months of the current financial year which have already elapsed will be revised next month, however, the fact that growth in spending since the Pre-Budget Report is running above that required to meet the Chancellor's forecast is likely to remain.
                                        • Public sector net investment in December was £0.9bn higher (56.1%) than in the same month last year. Last month's Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2006-07 implies an increase of 30.2% for the year as a whole and an increase of 17.4% for the period from November 2006 to March 2007. The latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 44.4% for the year to date and a 33.7% increase in November and December 2006 over the same two months last year.

                                        ]]>
                                        http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/3833 Fri, 19 Jan 2007 00:00:00 +0000
                                        <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: December 2006]]>

                                        Headline Comparisons

                                        • Central government current receipts in November were 5.1% higher than in the same month last year. This month's Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2006-07 implies an increase over last year's levels of 6.9% for the year as a whole and of 7.3% for the period from November 2006 to March 2007. The latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 6.4 % for the year to date.
                                        • Central government current spending in November was 1.0% higher than in the same month last year. This month's Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2006-07 implies an increase over last year's levels of 5.0% for the year as a whole and of 2.6% for the period from November 2006 to March 2007. The latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 6.1% for the year to date.
                                        • Public sector net investment in November was £2.2bn (8.9%) higher than in the same month last year. This month's Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2006-07 implies an increase of 30.2% for the year as a whole and an increase of 16.1% for the period from November 2006 to March 2007. The latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 43.0% for the year to date.

                                        ]]>
                                        http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/3827 Wed, 20 Dec 2006 00:00:00 +0000
                                        <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: November 2006]]>

                                        Headline Comparisons

                                        • Central government current receipts in October were 7.5% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts in the first seven months of 2006-07 were 6.5% higher than in the same months of 2005-06. The 2006 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2006-07 would be 6.4% above 2005-06 levels.

                                        • Central government current spending in October was 5.8% higher than in the same month last year. Spending in the first seven months of 2006-07 was 7.1% higher than in the same months of 2005-06. The 2006 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2006-07 would be 4.6% above 2005-06 levels.

                                        • Public sector net investment in October was £0.5bn higher (28.9%) than in the same month last year. Together, public sector net investment during the first seven months of 2006-07 has been £5.1bn higher (55.5%) than in the same months of 2005-06. The Budget predicted that net investment in 2006-07 would be 28.4% above last year's level.

                                        • ]]> http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/3793 Mon, 20 Nov 2006 00:00:00 +0000 <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: October 2006]]>

                                          Headline Comparisons

                                          • Central government current receipts in September were 4.1% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts in the first half of 2006-07 were 6.3% higher than in the same months of 2005-06. The 2006 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2006-07 would be 6.4% above 2005-06 levels.
                                          • Central government current spending in September was 7.7% higher than in the same month last year. Spending in the first half of 2006-07 was 7.6% higher than in the same months of 2005-06. The 2006 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2006-07 would be 4.7% above 2005-06 levels.
                                          • Public sector net investment in September was £0.2bn higher (11.1%) than in the same month last year. Together, public sector net investment during the first half of 2006-07 has been £4.3bn higher (53.5%) than in the same months of 2005-06. The Budget predicted that net investment in 2006-07 would be 20.2% above last year's level.
                                          • ]]> http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/3754 Thu, 19 Oct 2006 00:00:00 +0000 <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: September 2006]]>

                                            Headline comparisons

                                            • Central government current receipts in August were 6.1% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts in the first five months of 2006-07 were 6.9% higher than in the same months of 2005-06. The 2006 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2006-07 would be 6.4% above 2005-06 levels.

                                            • Central government current spending in August was 6.7% higher than in the same month last year. Spending in the first five months of 2006-07 was 7.9% higher than in the same months of 2005-06. The 2006 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2006-07 would be 4.8% above 2005-06 levels.

                                            • Public sector net investment in August was £2.0bn, or 8.7% higher, than in the same month last year. Together, public sector net investment during the first five months of 2006-07 has been £10.6bn, which is 62.7% higher than in the same months of 2005-06 The Budget predicted that net investment in 2006-07 would be £28.8bn, which is 15.5% above last year's level.

                                            ]]>
                                            http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/3728 Wed, 20 Sep 2006 00:00:00 +0000
                                            <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: August 2006]]> Headline Comparisons
                                            • Central government current receipts in July were 11.4% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts in the first four months of 2006-07 were 7.1% higher than in the same months of 2005-06. The 2006 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2006-07 would be 6.3% above 2005–06 levels.
                                            • Central government current spending in July was 5.8% higher than in the same month last year. Spending in the first four months of 2006-07 was 8.4% higher than in the same months of 2005-06. The 2006 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2006-07 would be 4.8% above 2005-06 levels.
                                            • Public sector net investment in July was £2.1bn, or 57.3% higher, than in the same month last year. Together, public sector net investment during the first four months of 2006-07 has been £5.6bn, which is 20.9% higher than in the same months of 2005-06 The Budget predicted that net investment in 2006–07 would be £28.8bn, which is 11.7% above last year's level.
                                            ]]>
                                            http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/3697 Fri, 18 Aug 2006 00:00:00 +0000
                                            <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: July 2006]]>

                                            Headline Comparisons

                                            • Central government current receipts in June were 6.8% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts in the first three months were 5.1% higher than in the same months of 2005-06. The 2006 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2006-07 would be 6.4% above 2005-06 levels. Strong growth in tax revenues in June will be welcome to the Chancellor, but over the financial year to date it is still weaker than he had hoped at Budget time.
                                            • Central government current spending in June was 10.2% higher than in the same month last year. Spending in the first three months of 2006-07 was 8.3% higher than in the same months of 2005-06. The 2006 Budget implied that central government spending for the whole of 2006-07 would be 4.8% above 2005-06 levels. Central government spending is accelerating further away from the Chancellor's Budget forecast, but the Treasury believes that this reflects timing effects that will unwind.
                                            • Public sector net investment in June was 0.9 billion, or 37.8% lower, than in the same month last year. Public sector net investment has totalled 3.8 billion during the first three months of 2006-07, up 16.0% on the same months of 2005-06. The Budget predicted that net investment in 2006-07 would be 28.8 billion, which is 11.9% above last year's level. The Chancellor will be pleased to see that public sector investment is growing strongly relative to last year.
                                            ]]>
                                            http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/3668 Thu, 20 Jul 2006 00:00:00 +0000
                                            <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: June 2006]]> Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances May 2006. We now have details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the first two months of financial year 2006-07.

                                            Headline Comparisons

                                            • Central government current receipts in May were 5.8% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts in April and May 2006 were 3.8% higher than in the same months of 2005. The 2006 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2006-07 would be 6.4% above 2005-06 levels.
                                            • Central government current spending in May was 3.1% higher than in the same month last year. Spending in April and May 2006 was 7.1% higher than in the same months of 2005. The 2006 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2006-07 would be 5.3% above 2005-06 levels.
                                            • ?

                                            • Public sector net investment in May was £1.4bn, or 22.4% lower, than in the same month last year. Together, public sector net investment during April and May 2006 has been £3.1bn, which is 18.6% higher than in the same two months of 2005. The Budget predicted that net investment in 2006-07 would be £28.8bn, which is 4.6% above last year's level.

                                            • ]]> http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/3640 Tue, 20 Jun 2006 00:00:00 +0000 <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: May 2006]]>

                                              Headline Comparisons

                                              • Public sector surplus on the current budget in 2005ְ6 is now estimated to have been minus ñ1.8bn (i.e. in deficit), compared to the March 2006 Budget estimate of minus ñ1.4bn
                                              • Public sector net borrowing in 2005ְ6 in 2005ְ6 is now estimated to have been ó8.9.bn, compared to the ó7.1bn estimate in the Budget.
                                              • Central government current receipts in April were 2.8% higher than in the same month last year. The 2006 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2006ְ7 would be 6.3% above 2005ְ6 levels.
                                              • Central government current spending in April was 9.3% higher than in the same month last year. The 2006 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2006ְ7 would be 5.3% above 2005ְ6 levels.
                                              • Public sector net investment in April was ñ.7bn compared to just ð.8bn in the same month last year. The Budget predicted that net investment in 2006ְ7 would be ò8.8bn, which is 6.3% above last year's level.
                                              ]]>
                                              http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/3623 Fri, 19 May 2006 00:00:00 +0000
                                              <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: April 2006]]>

                                              Headline Comparisons

                                              • Public sector surplus on the current budget in 200506 was minus 10.8bn (i.e. in deficit) compared to the March 2006 Budget projection of minus 11.5bn (and the March 2005 Budget projection of minus 5.7bn).
                                              • Public sector net borrowing in 200506 was 37.8bn compared to the March 2006 Budget projection of 37.1bn (and the March 2005 Budget projection of 31.9bn).
                                              • Public sector net debt at the end of 200506 was 459.0bn, or 36.6% of national income compared to the March 2006 Budget projection of 36.4% (and the March 2005 Budget projection of 35.5%).
                                              • Central government current receipts in March were 11.5% higher than in the same month last year. Overall, current receipts in 200506 are thought to have been 452.8bn, compared to the March 2006 Budget projection of 453.2bn (and the March 2005 Budget projection of 453.6 bn).
                                              • Central government current spending in March was 4.0% higher than in the same month last year. Overall, current spending in 200506 is now thought to have been 461.8bn compared to the March 2006 Budget projection of 463.1bn (and the March 2005 Budget projection of 460.2bn).
                                              • Public sector net investment in March was 27.6% higher than in the same month last year. Overall, net investment in 200506 is now thought to have been 27.1bn compared to the March 2006 Budget projection of 25.7bn (and the March 2005 Budget projection of 26.2bn).
                                              ]]>
                                              http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/3607 Mon, 24 Apr 2006 00:00:00 +0000
                                              <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: March 2006]]>

                                              Headline Comparisons

                                              • Central government current receipts in February were 5.3% higher than in the same month last year. The December 2005 Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2005-06 implies an increase over last year's levels of 7.4% for the year as a whole and of 6.2% for the period from November 2005 to March 2006. The latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 7.4% for both the year to date and the four month period from November 2005 to February 2006.

                                              • Central government current spending in February was 8.3% higher than in the same month last year. The December 2005 Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2005-06 implies an increase over last year's levels of 4.9% for the year as a whole and of 3.4% for the period from November 2005 to March 2006. The latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 5.6% for the year to date and a 5.0% increase in November 2005 to February 2006 over the same four months last year.

                                              • Public sector net investment in February was £0.2bn higher (6.8%) than in the same month last year. The December 2005 Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2005-06 implies an increase of 27.2% for the year as a whole and an increase of 3.3% for the period from November 2005 to March 2006. The latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 41.7% for the year to date and a 23.9% increase in November 2005 to February 2006 over the same four months last year.

                                              ]]>
                                              http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/3582 Mon, 20 Mar 2006 00:00:00 +0000
                                              <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin: February 2006]]>

                                              Headline Comparisons

                                              • Central government current receipts in January were 14.4% higher than in the same month last year. The December 2005 Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2005-06 implies an increase over last year's levels of 6.9% for the year as a whole and of 6.2% for the period from November 2005 to March 2006. The latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 7.8% for the year to date and an 8.5% increase in November 2005 to January 2006 over the same three months last year.

                                              • Central government current spending in January was 7.4% higher than in the same month last year. The December 2005 Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2005-06 implies an increase over last year's levels of 4.8% for the year as a whole and of 3.5% for the period from November 2005 to March 2006. The latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 5.8% for the year to date and a 2.6% increase in November 2005 to January 2006 over the same three months last year.

                                              • Public sector net investment in January was £0.7bn lower (21.2%) than in the same month last year. The December 2005 Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2005-06 implies an increase of 26.9% for the year as a whole and an increase of 2.7% for the period from November 2005 to March 2006. The latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 46.7% for the year to date and a 24.7% increase in November 2005 to January 2006 over the same two months last year.

                                              ]]>
                                              http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/3556 Mon, 20 Feb 2006 00:00:00 +0000
                                              <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin January 2006]]>

                                              Headline Comparisons

                                              • Central government current receipts in December were 7.5% higher than in the same month last year. Last month's Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2005-06 implies an increase over last year's levels of 7.6% for the year as a whole and of 8.0% for the period from November 2005 to March 2006. The latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 7.1% for the year to date and a 6.1% increase in November and December 2005 over the same two months last year.

                                              • Central government current spending in December was 3.2% higher than in the same month last year. Last month's Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2005-06 implies an increase over last year's levels of 5.5% for the year as a whole and of 3.8% for the period from November 2005 to March 2006. The latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 5.7% for the year to date and a 2.6% increase in November and December 2005 over the same two months last year.

                                              • Public sector net investment in December was £1.2bn higher (93.0%) than in the same month last year. Last month's Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2005-06 implies an increase of 31.6% for the year as a whole and an increase of 35.0% for the period from November 2005 to March 2006. The latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 37.1% for the year to date and a 63.9% increase in November and December 2005 over the same two months last year.

                                              ]]>
                                              http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/3546 Fri, 20 Jan 2006 00:00:00 +0000
                                              <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin December 2005]]>

                                              Headline Comparisons

                                              • Central government current receipts in November were 4.1% higher than in the same month last year. This month's Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2005-06 implies an increase over last year's levels of 7.6% for the year as a whole and of 7.8% for the period from November 2005 to March 2006. The latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 7.0% for the year to date.
                                              • Central government current spending in November was 6.4% higher than in the same month last year. This month's Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2005-06 implies an increase over last year's levels of 5.5% for the year as a whole and of 6.1% for the period from November 2005 to March 2006. The latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 5.2% for the year to date.
                                              • Public sector net investment in November was £0.6bn higher (31.3%) than in the same month last year. This month's Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2005-06 implies an increase of 31.6% for the year as a whole and an increase of 36.9% for the period from November 2005 to March 2006. The latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 24.9% for the year to date.

                                              ]]>
                                              http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/3524 Tue, 20 Dec 2005 00:00:00 +0000
                                              <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin November 2005]]>

                                              Headline Comparisons

                                              • Central government current receipts in October were 9.6% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts in the first seven months of 2005-06 were 7.4% higher than in the same months of 2004-05. The 2005 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2005-06 would be 8.5% above 2004-05 levels.

                                              • Central government current spending in October was 2.9% lower than in the same month last year. Spending in the first seven months of 2005-06 was 4.1% higher than in the same months of 2004-05. The 2005 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2005-06 would be 5.6% above 2004-05 levels.

                                              • Public sector net investment in October was £0.6bn higher (43.1%) than in the same month last year. Together, public sector net investment during the first seven months of 2005-06 has been £2.9bn higher (39.7%) than in the same months of 2004-05. The Budget predicted that net investment in 2005-06 would be 38.3% above last year's level.

                                              ]]>
                                              http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/3481 Fri, 18 Nov 2005 00:00:00 +0000
                                              <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin October 2005]]>

                                              Headline Comparisons

                                              • Central government current receipts in September were 7.0% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts in the first half of 2005-06 were 7.2% higher than in the same months of 2004-05. The 2005 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2005-06 would be 8.5% above 2004-05 levels.

                                              • Central government current spending in September was 4.3% higher than in the same month last year. Spending in the first half of 2005-06 was 5.4% higher than in the same months of 2004-05. The 2005 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2005-06 would be 5.9% above 2004-05 levels.

                                              • Public sector net investment in September was £0.9bn higher (102.6%) than in the same month last year. Together, public sector net investment during the first half of 2005-06 has been £2.4bn higher (40.2%) than in the same months of 2004-05. The Budget predicted that net investment in 2005-06 would be 38.3% above last year's level.

                                              ]]>
                                              http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/3459 Thu, 20 Oct 2005 00:00:00 +0000
                                              <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin September 2005]]>

                                              Headline comparisons

                                              • Central government current receipts in August were 7.6% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts in the first five months of 2005-06 were 7.2% higher than in the same months of 2004-05. The 2005 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2005-06 would be 8.3% above 2004-05 levels.

                                              • Central government current spending in August was 3.8% higher than in the same month last year. Spending in the first five months of 2005-06 was 5.9% higher than in the same months of 2004-05. The 2005 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2005-06 would be 6.0% above 2004-05 levels.

                                              • Public sector net investment in August was £0.3bn, or 18.4%, higher than in the same month last year. Together, public sector net investment during the first five months of 2005-06 has been £8.7bn, which is 75.3% higher than in the same months of 2004-05 The Budget predicted that net investment in 2005-06 would be £26.2bn, which is 38.0% above last year's level.

                                              ]]>
                                              http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/3436 Tue, 20 Sep 2005 00:00:00 +0000
                                              <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin August 2005]]> Headline comparisons
                                              • Central government current receipts in July were 9.1% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts in the first four months of 2005ְ6 were 6.9% higher than in the same months of 2004ְ5. The 2005 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2005ְ6 would be 8.3% above 2004ְ5 levels.
                                              • Central government current spending in July was 4.5% higher than in the same month last year. Spending in the first four months of 2005ְ6 was 6.4% higher than in the same months of 2004ְ5. The 2005 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2005ְ6 would be 6.0% above 2004ְ5 levels.
                                              • Public sector net investment in July was ñ.2bn, or 91.8% higher, than in the same month last year. Together, public sector net investment during the first four months of 2005ְ6 has been ÷.2bn, which is 102.6% higher than in the same months of 2004ְ5 The Budget predicted that net investment in 2005ְ6 would be ò6.2bn, which is 38.0% above last year's level.
                                              ]]>
                                              http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/3421 Thu, 18 Aug 2005 00:00:00 +0000
                                              <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin July 2005 ]]>

                                              Headline Comparisons

                                              • Central government current receipts in June were 7.0% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts in the first three months of 2005-06 were 7.0% higher than in the same months of 2004-05. The 2005 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2005-06 would be 8.3% above 2004-05 levels.

                                              • Central government current spending in June was 7.3% higher than in the same month last year. Spending in the first three months of 2005-06 was 7.2% higher than in the same months of 2004-05. The 2005 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2005-06 would be 6.0% above 2004-05 levels.

                                              • Public sector net investment in June was £1.3bn, or 36.8% higher, than in the same month last year. Together, public sector net investment during the first three months of 2005-06 has been £3.9bn, which is 70.4% higher than in the same months of 2004-05 The Budget predicted that net investment in 2005-06 would be £26.2bn, which is 38.0% above last year's level.

                                              ]]>
                                              http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/3397 Wed, 20 Jul 2005 00:00:00 +0000
                                              <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin June 2005 ]]>

                                              Headline Comparisons

                                              • Central government current receipts in May were 4.2% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts in April and May 2005 were 6.6% higher than in the same months of 2004. The 2005 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2005-06 would be 8.5% above 2004-05 levels.

                                              • Central government current spending in May was 7.4% higher than in the same month last year. Spending in April and May 2005 was 4.9% higher than in the same months of 2004. The 2005 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2005-06 would be 6.0% above 2004-05 levels.

                                              • Public sector net investment in May was £1.6bn, or 65.0% higher, than in the same month last year. Together, public sector net investment during April and May 2005 has been £2.7bn, which is 94.5% higher than in the same two months of 2004. The Budget predicted that net investment in 2005-06 would be £26.2bn, which is 45.9% above last year's level.

                                              ]]>
                                              http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/3381 Mon, 20 Jun 2005 00:00:00 +0000
                                              <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin May 2005]]> Headline Comparisons
                                              • Public sector surplus on current budget in 2004ְ5 is now estimated to have been minus ñ7.4bn (i.e. in deficit), compared to the March 2005 Budget estimate of minus ñ6.1bn.
                                              • Public sector net borrowing in 2004ְ5 is now estimated to have been ó5.4.bn, compared to the ó4.4bn estimate in the Budget.
                                              • Central government current receipts in April were 9.0% higher than in the same month last year. The 2005 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2005ְ6 would be 8.4% above 2004ְ5 levels.
                                              • Central government current spending in April was 1.6% higher than in the same month last year. The 2005 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2005ְ6 would be 6.0% above 2004ְ5 levels.
                                              • Public sector net investment in April was ñ.1bn compared to just ð.4bn in the same month last year. The Budget predicted that net investment in 2005ְ6 would be ò6.2bn, which is 45.9% above last year's level.
                                              ]]>
                                              http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/3370 Fri, 20 May 2005 00:00:00 +0000
                                              <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin April 2005]]>

                                              Headline Comparisons

                                              • Public sector surplus on the current budget in 2004-05 was minus £16.6bn (i.e. in deficit) compared to the March 2005 Budget projection of minus £16.1bn (and the March 2004 Budget projection of minus £10.5bn).

                                              • Public sector net borrowing in 2004-05 was £34.5bn compared to the March 2005 Budget projection of £34.4bn (and the March 2004 Budget projection of minus £32.9bn).

                                              • Central government current receipts in March were 4.6% higher than in the same month last year. Overall, current receipts in 2004-05 are thought to have been £419.2bn, compared to the March 2005 Budget projection of £419.5bn (and the March 2004 Budget projection of minus £422.4bn).

                                              • Central government current spending in March was 1.6% lower than in the same month last year. Overall, current spending in 2004-05 is now thought to have been £434.2bn compared to the March 2005 Budget projection of £435.5bn (and the March 2004 Budget projection of minus £432.2bn).

                                              • Public sector net investment in March was 23.0% higher than in the same month last year. Overall, net investment in 2004-05 is now thought to have been £17.8bn compared to the March 2005 Budget projection of £18.3bn (and the March 2004 Budget projection of £22.4bn).

                                              ]]>
                                              http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/3350 Wed, 20 Apr 2005 00:00:00 +0000
                                              <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin March 2005]]>

                                              Headline Comparisons

                                              • Central government current receipts in February were 3.4% higher than in the same month last year. To achieve the forecast for 2004-05 in this week's Budget, which was made taking the February 2005 public finance figures into account, would require a 7.4% increase in March 2005 over the same month last year. The Budget forecast for 2004-05 implies an increase over last year's levels of 7.2% for the year as a whole; the latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 7.2% for the year to date.

                                              • Central government current spending in February was 6.1% higher than in the same month last year. To achieve the forecast for 2004-05 in this week's Budget would require a 4.7% increase in March 2005 over the same month last year. The Budget forecast 2004-05 implies an increase over last year's levels of 6.0% for the year as a whole; the latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 6.1% for the year to date.

                                              • Public sector net investment in February was 132.8% higher than in the same month last year. To achieve the forecast for 2004-05 in this week's Budget would require a 21.5% increase in March 2005 over the same month last year. The Budget forecast 2004-05 implies an increase over last year's levels of 25.3% for the year as a whole; the latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 26.1 for the year to date.

                                              ]]>
                                              http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/3324 Fri, 18 Mar 2005 00:00:00 +0000
                                              <![CDATA[Analysis of ONS revision to accounting of some Government spending on the repair and maintenance of roads]]> The Office for National Statistics today detailed revisions to the accounting of some government spending on the repair and maintenance of roads. They improve Gordon Brown's chances of meeting his 'golden rule', one of the key targets he has laid down for management of the public finances.

                                              ]]>
                                              http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/3279 Mon, 28 Feb 2005 00:00:00 +0000
                                              <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin February 2005]]>

                                              Headline Comparisons

                                              • Central government current receipts in January were 12.7% higher than in the same month last year. The December 2004 Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2004-05 implies an increase over last year's levels of 7.2% for the year as a whole and of 7.4% for the period from November 2004 to March 2005. The latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 7.8% in the year to date, and a cumulative increase of 9.4% over last year for the three months since the Pre-Budget Report.

                                              • Central government current spending in January was 4.9% higher than in the same month last year. The December 2004 Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2004-05 implies an increase over last year's levels of 5.2% for the year as a whole and of 2.2% for the period from November 2004 to March 2005. The latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 6.3% for the year to date, and a cumulative increase of 3.7% over last year for the three months since the Pre-Budget Report.

                                              • Public sector net investment in January was £2.6bn, or 37.9% higher than in the same month last year. The December 2004 Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2004-05 implies an increase of 56.4% for the year as a whole and an increase of 99.0% for the period from November 2004 to March 2005. The latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 10.0% for the year to date, and a cumulative increase of 22.6% over last year for the three months since the Pre-Budget Report.

                                              ]]>
                                              http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/3274 Fri, 18 Feb 2005 00:00:00 +0000
                                              <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin January 2005]]>

                                              Headline Comparisons

                                              • Central government current receipts in December were 9.4% higher than in the same month last year. Last month's Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2004-05 implies an increase over last year's levels of 7.2% for the year as a whole and of 7.6% for the period from December 2004 to March 2005. The latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 7.2% in the year to date, and a cumulative increase of 8.2% over last year for the two months since the Pre-Budget Report.

                                              • Central government current spending in December was 1.5% lower than in the same month last year. Last month's Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2004-05 implies an increase over last year's levels of 5.2% for the year as a whole and of 2.6% for the period from December 2004 to March 2005. The latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 6.2% for the year to date, and a cumulative increase of 3.0% over last year for the two months since the Pre-Budget Report.

                                              • Public sector net investment in December was £1.2bn, or 12.9% higher than in the same month last year. Last month's Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2004-05 implies an increase of 59.6% for the year as a whole and an increase of 94.2% for the period from December 2004 to March 2005. The latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 15.6% for the year to date, and a cumulative increase of 22.1% over last year for the two months since the Pre-Budget Report.

                                              ]]>
                                              http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/3249 Fri, 21 Jan 2005 00:00:00 +0000
                                              <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin December 2004]]> Headline Comparisons
                                              • Central government current receipts in November were 4.9% higher than in the same month last year. This month's Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2004ְ5 implies an increase over last year's levels of 7.2% for the year as a whole and of 7.5% for the period from November 2004 to March 2005. Although the latest month's data appears disappointing in isolation, revisions to previous months have lifted the increase over the year to date from 6.3% in last month's release to 6.8%. This brings it closer to the Pre-Budget Report forecast.
                                              • Central government current spending in November were 9.2% higher than in the same month last year. This month's Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2004ְ5 implies an increase over last year's levels of 5.2% for the year as a whole and of 2.8% for the period from November 2004 to March 2005. The latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 7.3% for the year to date.
                                              • Public sector net investment in November was ñ.4bn, or 17.8% higher than in the same month last year. This month's Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2004ְ5 implies an increase of 55.8% for the year as a whole and an increase of 91.3% for the period from November 2004 to March 2005. The latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 11.6% for the year to date.
                                              ]]>
                                              http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/3213 Mon, 20 Dec 2004 00:00:00 +0000
                                              <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin November 2004]]>

                                              Headline Comparisons

                                              • Central government current receipts in October were 5.9% higher than in the same month last year.

                                                Receipts in the first seven months of this financial year were 6.3% higher than in the same period of 2003- 04. The 2004 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2004-05 would be 7.8% above 2003-04 levels.

                                              • Central government current spending in October was 8.2% higher than in the same month last year.

                                                Spending in the first seven months of this financial year was 6.6% higher than in the period of 2003-04. The 2004 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2004-05 would be 5.2% above 2003-04 levels.

                                              • Public sector net investment in October was £1.1bn, or 20.9% higher than in the same month last year. Together, public sector net investment during the first seven months of this financial year has been £6.9bn, which is 13.1% higher than in the same period of 2003-04. The Budget predicted that net investment in 2004-05 would be £22.4bn, which is 63.3% above last year's level.

                                              ]]>
                                              http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/3175 Thu, 18 Nov 2004 00:00:00 +0000
                                              <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin October 2004]]>

                                              Headline comparisons

                                              • Central government current receipts in September were 7.4% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts in the first half of this financial year were 6.8% higher than in the same period of 2003-04. The 2004 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2004-05 would be 7.8% above 2003-04 levels.

                                              • Central government current spending in September was 11.2% higher than in the same month last year. Spending in the first half of this financial year was 6.6% higher than in the period of 2003-04. The 2004 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2004-05 would be 5.2% above 2003-04 levels.

                                              • Public sector net investment in September was £0.9bn, or 5.4% higher than in the same month last year. Together, public sector net investment during the first half of this financial year has been £5.3bn, which is 1.9% higher than in the same period of 2003-04. The Budget predicted that net investment in 2004-05 would be £22.4bn, which is 63.3% above last year's level.

                                              ]]>
                                              http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/3145 Wed, 20 Oct 2004 00:00:00 +0000
                                              <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin September 2004]]>

                                              Headline comparisons

                                              • Central government current receipts in August were 8.0% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts in the first five months of this financial year were 6.5% higher than in the same months of 2003-04. The 2004 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2004-05 would be 7.6% above 2003-04 levels.

                                              • Central government current spending in August was 5.7% higher than in the same month last year. Spending in the first five months of this financial year was 6.6% higher than in the same months of 2003-04. The 2004 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2004-05 would be 5.2% above 2003-04 levels.

                                              • Public sector net investment in August was £1.7bn, or 99.2% higher than in the same month last year. Together, public sector net investment during the first five months of this financial year has been £5.3bn, which is 29.0% higher than in the same five months of 2003-04. The Budget predicted that net investment in 2004-05 would be £22.4bn, which is 64.0% above last year's level.

                                              ]]>
                                              http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/3144 Mon, 20 Sep 2004 00:00:00 +0000
                                              <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin August 2004]]>

                                              Headline comparisons

                                              • Central government current receipts in July were 6.5% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts in the first four months of this financial year were 6.1% higher than in the same months of 2003-04. The 2004 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2004-05 would be 7.6% above 2003-04 levels.

                                              • Central government current spending in July was 8.9% higher than in the same month last year. Spending in the first four months of this financial year was 6.4% higher than in the same months of 2003-04. The 2004 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2004-05 would be 5.2% above 2003-04 levels.

                                              • Public sector net investment in July was £1.3bn, or 36.7% higher than in the same month last year. Together, public sector net investment during the first four months of this financial year has been £3.0bn, which is 9.8% lower than in the same four months of 2003-04. The Budget predicted that net investment in 2004-05 would be £22.4bn, which is 64.0% above last year's level.

                                              ]]>
                                              http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/3143 Thu, 19 Aug 2004 00:00:00 +0000
                                              <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin July 2004]]>

                                              Headline comparisons

                                              • Central government current receipts in June were 8.2% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts in the first three months of this financial year were 6.5% higher than in the same months of 2003-04. The 2004 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2004-05 would be 7.6% above 2003-04 levels.

                                              • Central government current spending in June was 4.6% higher than in the same month last year. Spending in the first three months of this financial year was 5.8% higher than in the same months of 2003-04. The 2004 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2004-05 would be 5.2% above 2003-04 levels.

                                              • Public sector net investment in June was £0.8bn, or 56.6% higher than in the same month last year. Together, public sector net investment during the first three months of this financial year has been £1.9bn, which is 21.1% lower than in the same three months of 2003-04. The Budget predicted that net investment in 2004-05 would be £22.4bn, which is 64.0% above last year's level

                                              ]]>
                                              http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/1804 Tue, 20 Jul 2004 00:00:00 +0000
                                              <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin June 2004]]>

                                              Headline comparisons

                                              • Central government current receipts in May were 5.5% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts in April and May 2004 were 3.7% higher than in the same months of 2003. The 2004 Budget implied that central government receipts for the whole of 2004-05 would be 7.4% above 2003-04 levels.

                                              • Central government current spending in May was 3.1% higher than in the same month last year. Spendning was 5.6% higher than in the same months of 2003. The 2004 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2004-05 would be 5.3% above 2003-04 levels.

                                              • Public sector net investment in May was £0.4bn, or 69.7% higher than in the same month last year. Together, public sector net investment during April and May 2004 has been £0.7bn, which is 62.8% lower than in the same two months of 2003. The Budget predicted that net investment in 2004-05 would be 22.4bn, which is 56.6% above last year's level.

                                              ]]>
                                              http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/1805 Fri, 18 Jun 2004 00:00:00 +0000
                                              <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin May 2004]]>

                                              Headline comparisons

                                              • Public sector surplus on current budget in 2003-04 is now estimated to be minus £17.2bn (i.e. in deficit), compared to the March 2004 Budget estimate of minus £21.3bn.

                                              • Public sector net borrowing in 2003-04 is now estimated to be £33.1bn, compared to the £37.5bn estimate in the Budget.

                                              • Central government current receipts in April were 4.0% higher than in the same month last year. The 2004 Budget implied that central government current receipts for the whole of 2004-05 would be 7.3% above 2003-04 levels.

                                              • Central government current spending in April was 8.6% higher than in the same month last year. The 2004 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2004-05 would be 5.4% above 2003-04 levels.

                                              • Public sector net investment in April was £0.5bn, or 65.9% lower than in the same month last year. The Budget predicted that net investment in 2004-05 would be £22.4bn, which is 41.3% above last year's level.

                                              ]]>
                                              http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/1806 Fri, 21 May 2004 00:00:00 +0000
                                              <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin April 2004]]>

                                              Headline comparisons

                                              • Public sector surplus on current budget in 2003-04 was minus £18.9bn (i.e. in deficit) compared to the March 2004 Budget estimated outturn of minus £21.3bn.

                                              • Public sector net borrowing in 2003-04 was £34.8bn compared to the March 2004 Budget estimated outturn of £37.5bn.

                                              • Central government current receipts in March were 7.7% higher than in the same month last year. To achieve the forecast for 2003-04 in last month's Budget, an increase of 7.5% over the March 2003 outturn was required. Overall, current receipts in 2003-04 were predicted in the Budget to be £392.6bn, corresponding to a 5.9% increase over receipts in 2002-03. The actual outturn for 2003-04 was £392.7bn, corresponding to a 5.9% increase over last year's levels.

                                              • Central government current spending in March was 3.2% higher than in the same month last year. To achieve the forecast for 2003-04 in last month's Budget, an increase of 6.8% over the March 2003 outturn was required. Overall, current spending in 2003-04 were predicted in the Budget to be £411.3bn, corresponding to an 8.2% increase over current spending in 2002-03. The actual outturn for 2003-04 was £410.1bn, corresponding to a 7.9% increase over last year's levels.

                                              • Public sector net investment in March was 32.6% higher than in the same month last year. To achieve the forecast for 2003-04 in last month's Budget, an increase of 43.5% over the March 2003 outturn was required. Overall, investment spending in 2003-04 was predicted in the Budget to be £16.2bn, corresponding to a 65.9% increase over investment spending in 2002-03. The actual outturn for 2003-04 was £15.9bn, corresponding to a 62.4% increase over last year's levels. comparisons

                                              ]]>
                                              http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/1807 Thu, 22 Apr 2004 00:00:00 +0000
                                              <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin March 2004]]>

                                              Headline comparisons

                                              • Central government current receipts in February were 10.6% higher than in the same month last year. To achieve the forecast for 2003-04 in last week's Budget, which was made just before the February 2004 public finance figures were published, would require an 8.2% increase over last year during February and March 2004. The Budget forecast for 2003-04 implies an increase over last year's levels of 5.9% for the year as a whole; the latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 5.9% for the year to date.

                                              • Central government current spending in February was 9.1% higher than in the same month last year. To achieve the forecast for 2003-04 in last week's Budget would require a 7.8% increase over last year during February and March 2004. The Budget forecast for 2003-04 implies an increase over last year's levels of 8.2% for the year as a whole; the latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 8.4% for the year to date.

                                              • Public sector net investment in February was 56.4% higher than in the same month last year. To achieve the forecast for 2003-04 in last week's Budget would require a 37.0% increase over last year during February and March 2004. The Budget forecast for 2003-04 implies an increase over last year's levels of 65.9% for the year as a whole; the latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 83.2% for the year to date.

                                              ]]>
                                              http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/1808 Wed, 31 Mar 2004 00:00:00 +0000
                                              <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin February 2004]]>

                                              Headline comparisons

                                              • Central government current receipts in January were just 3.5% higher than in the same month last year. Last month's Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2003-04 implies an increase over last year's levels of 5.9% for the year as a whole; the latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 5.5% for the year to date. The Pre-Budget Report forecast also implies a 6.8% increase over last year for the period from November 2003 to March 2004; the month's figures show a cumulative increase of 6.1% over last year for the three months since the Pre-Budget Report.

                                              • Central government current spending in January was just 2.8% higher than in the same month last year. Last month's Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2003-04 implies an increase over last year's levels of 8.3% for the year as a whole; the latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 8.4% for the year to date. The Pre-Budget Report forecast also implies a 6.7% increase over last year for the period from November 2003 to March 2004; the month's figures show a cumulative increase of 6.1% over last year for the three months since the Pre-Budget Report.

                                              • Public sector net investment in January was 109.1% higher than in the same month last year. Last month's Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2003-04 implies an increase over last year's levels of 69.3% for the year as a whole; the latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 75.2% for the year to date. The Pre-Budget Report forecast also implies a 68.0% increase over last year for the period from November 2003 to March 2004; the month's figures show a cumulative increase of 80.7% over last year for the three months since the Pre-Budget Report.

                                              ]]>
                                              http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/1809 Thu, 19 Feb 2004 00:00:00 +0000
                                              <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin January 2004]]>

                                              Headline comparisons

                                              • Central government current receipts in December were 11.6% higher than in the same month last year. Last month's Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2003-04 implies an increase over last year's levels of 5.9% for the year as a whole; the latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 5.9% for the year to date. The Pre-Budget Report forecast also implies a 7.0% increase over last year for the period from November 2003 to March 2004; the month's figures show a cumulative increase of 9.0% over last year for the two months since the Pre-Budget Report.

                                              • Central government current spending in December was 9.8% higher than in the same month last year. Last month's Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2003-04 implies an increase over last year's levels of 8.3% for the year as a whole; the latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 9.4% for the year to date. The Pre-Budget Report forecast also implies a 6.2% increase over last year for the period from November 2003 to March 2004; the month's figures show a cumulative increase of 8.2% over last year for the two months since the Pre-Budget Report.

                                              • Public sector net investment in December was 93.1% higher than in the same month last year. Last month's Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2003-04 implies an increase over last year's levels of 69.3% for the year as a whole; the latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 83.3% for the year to date. The Pre-Budget Report forecast also implies a 65.6% increase over last year for the period from November 2003 to March 2004; the month's figures show a cumulative increase of 103.7% over last year for the two months since the Pre-Budget Report.

                                              • Central government current receipts in May were 5.5% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts in April and May 2004 were 3.7% higher than in the same months of 2003. The 2004 Budget implied that central government receipts for the whole of 2004-05 would be 7.4% above 2003-04 levels.

                                              • Central government current spending in May was 3.1% higher than in the same month last year. Spendning was 5.6% higher than in the same months of 2003. The 2004 Budget implied that central government current spending for the whole of 2004-05 would be 5.3% above 2003-04 levels.

                                              • Public sector net investment in May was £0.4bn, or 69.7% higher than in the same month last year. Together, public sector net investment during April and May 2004 has been £0.7bn, which is 62.8% lower than in the same two months of 2003. The Budget predicted that net investment in 2004-05 would be 22.4bn, which is 56.6% above last year's level.

                                              ]]>
                                              http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/1810 Wed, 21 Jan 2004 00:00:00 +0000
                                              <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin December 2003]]>

                                              Headline comparisons

                                              • Central government current receipts in November were 5.7% higher than the same month last year. Last week's Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2003-04 implies an increase over last year's levels of 5.8% for the year as a whole and of 7.1% for the period from November 2003 to March 2004. The latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 5.0% for the year to date.

                                              • Central government current spending in November was 1.8% lower than the same month last year. Last week's Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2003-04 implies an increase of 8.3% over last year's levels for the year as a whole and of 6.2% for the period from November 2003 to March 2004. The latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 8.3% for the year to date.

                                              • Public sector next investment in November was 129.0% higher than the same month last year. Last week's Pre-Budget Report forecast for 2003-04 implies an increase of 67.9% for the year as a whole and an increase of 57.1% for the period from November 2003 to March 2004. The latest figures show an increase over last year's levels of 92.0% for the year to date.

                                              ]]>
                                              http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/1811 Thu, 18 Dec 2003 00:00:00 +0000
                                              <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin November 2003]]>

                                              Headline comparisons

                                              • Central government current receipts in the first seven months of the financial year are 5.4% up on the

                                                same period last year. The Budget 2003 forecast for 2003-04 implies an increase of 7.3% for the year as a

                                                whole.

                                              • Central government current spending in the first seven months of the financial year is 9.2% up on the

                                                same period last year. The Budget 2003 forecast for 2003-04 implies an increase of 7.0% for the year as a

                                                whole.

                                              • Public sector next investment in the first seven months of the financial year is 94.2% up on the same period

                                                last year. The Budget 2003 forecast for 2003-04 implies an increase of 76.3% for the year as a whole.

                                              ]]>
                                              http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/1812 Thu, 20 Nov 2003 00:00:00 +0000
                                              <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin October 2003]]>

                                              Headline comparisons

                                              • Central government current receipts in the first six months of the financial year are 5.9% up on the same period last year. The Budget 2003 forecast for 2003-04 implies an increase of 7.3% for the year as a whole.

                                              • Central government current spending in the first six months of the financial year is 9.8% up on the same period last year. The Budget 2003 forecast for 2003-04 implies an increase of 7.0% for the year as a whole.

                                              • Public sector next investment in the first six months of the financial year is 102.1% up on the same period last year. The Budget 2003 forecast for 2003-04 implies an increase of 76.3% for the year as a whole.

                                              ]]>
                                              http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/1813 Mon, 20 Oct 2003 00:00:00 +0000
                                              <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin September 2003]]>

                                              Headline comparisons

                                              • Central government current receipts in the first

                                                five months of the financial year are 5.8% up on the same period last

                                                year. The Budget 2003 forecast for 2003-04 implies an increase of 7.0% for

                                                the year as a whole.

                                              • Central government current spending in the first

                                                five months of the financial year is 10.0% up on the same period last

                                                year. The Budget 2003 forecast for 2003-04 implies an increase of 6.5% for

                                                the year as a whole.

                                              • Public sector next investment in the first five

                                                months of the financial year is 138.8% up on the same period last year.

                                                The Budget 2003 forecast for 2003-04 implies an increase of 67.2% for the

                                                year as a whole.

                                              ]]>
                                              http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/1814 Thu, 18 Sep 2003 00:00:00 +0000
                                              <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin August 2003]]>

                                              Headline comparisons

                                              • Central government current receipts are 6.0% up on

                                                the first 4 months of last year. The Budget 2003 forecast for 2003-04

                                                implies an increase of 7.0% for the year as a whole.

                                              • Central government current spending is 9.0% up on

                                                the first 4 months of last year. The Budget 2003 forecast for 2003-04

                                                implies an increase of 6.5% for the year as a whole.

                                              • Public sector next investment is 175.9% up on the

                                                first 4 months of last year. The Budget 2003 forecast for 2003-04 implies

                                                an increase of 67.2% for the year as a whole.

                                              ]]>
                                              http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/1815 Wed, 20 Aug 2003 00:00:00 +0000
                                              <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin July 2003]]>

                                              Headline comparisons

                                              • Central government current receipts are 5.6% up on

                                                the first 3 months of last year. The Budget 2003 forecast for 2003-04

                                                implies an increase of 7.0% for the year as a whole.

                                              • Central government current spending is 8.2% up on

                                                the first 3 months of last year. The Budget 2003 forecast for 2003-04

                                                implies an increase of 6.5% for the year as a whole.

                                              • Public sector next investment is 180.8% up on the

                                                first 3 months of last year. The Budget 2003 forecast for 2003-04 implies

                                                an increase of 67.2% for the year as a whole.

                                              • Public sector net debt has risen from 31.1% of GDP

                                                in May 2003 to 31.9% of GDP in June 2003, the highest figure since

                                                December 2000.

                                              ]]>
                                              http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/1816 Fri, 18 Jul 2003 00:00:00 +0000
                                              <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin June 2003]]>

                                              Headline comparisons

                                              • Central government current receipts are 6.3% up on

                                                the first 2 months of last year. The Budget 2003 forecast for 2003-04

                                                implies an increase of 7.0% for the year as a whole.

                                              • Central government current spending is 5.4% up on

                                                the first 2 months of last year. The Budget 2003 forecast for 2003-04

                                                implies an increase of 6.1% for the year as a whole.

                                              • Public sector next investment is 175.8% up on the

                                                first 2 months of last year. The Budget 2003 forecast for 2003-04 implies

                                                an increase of 64.3% for the year as a whole.

                                              ]]>
                                              http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/1817 Thu, 19 Jun 2003 00:00:00 +0000
                                              <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin May 2003]]>

                                              Headline comparisons

                                              • Public sector surplus on current budget in 2002-03

                                                is now estimated to be minus £12.0bn (i.e. in deficit), compared to the

                                                April 2003 Budget estimate of minus £11.7bn.

                                              • Public sector net borrowing in 2002-03 is now

                                                estimated to be £23.4bn, compared to the £24.0bn estimate in the Budget.

                                              • Central government current receipts in April 2003

                                                were 7.9% up on the same month last year. The Budget forecast for 2003-04

                                                implies an increase of 7.0%.

                                              • Central government current spending in April 2003

                                                was 0.9% down on the same month last year. The Budget forecast for 2003-04

                                                implies an increase of 6.1%.

                                              • Public sector next investment in April 2003 was

                                                157.5% up on the same month last year. The Budget forecast for 2003-04

                                                implies an increase of 64.7% for the year as a whole.

                                              ]]>
                                              http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/1818 Wed, 21 May 2003 00:00:00 +0000
                                              <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin April 2003]]>

                                              Headline comparisons

                                              • Public sector surplus on current budget in 2002-03

                                                was minus £13.8bn (i.e. in deficit), compared to the April 2003 Budget

                                                forecast of minus £11.7bn.

                                              • Public sector net borrowing in 2002-03 was

                                                £25.2bn, compared to the £24.0bn forecast in the Budget.

                                              • Central government current receipts were 1.7% up

                                                on the previous year. This is in line with the Budget forecast.

                                              • Central government current spending was 8.6% up on

                                                the previous year. The Budget forecast for 2002-03 implied an increase of

                                                8.0%.

                                              • Public sector next investment was 19.6% up on the

                                                previous year. The Budget forecast for 2002-03 implied an increase of

                                                27.4% for the year as a whole.

                                              ]]>
                                              http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/1819 Wed, 23 Apr 2003 00:00:00 +0000
                                              <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin March 2003]]>

                                              Headline comparisons

                                              • Central government current receipts are 1.5% up on

                                                the first 11 months of last year. The November 2002 Pre-Budget Report

                                                (PBR) forecast for 2002-03 implies an increase of 2.2% for the year as a

                                                whole.

                                              • Central government current spending is 7.4% up on

                                                the first 11 months of last year. The PBR forecast for 2002-03 implies an

                                                increase of 6.8% for the year as a whole.

                                              • Public sector next investment is 35.5% up on the

                                                first 11 months of last year. The PBR forecast for 2002-03 implies an

                                                increase of 53.9% for the year as a whole.

                                              ]]>
                                              http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/1820 Thu, 20 Mar 2003 00:00:00 +0000
                                              <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin February 2003]]>

                                              Headline comparisons

                                              • Central government current receipts are 1.4% up on

                                                the first 10 months of last year. The November 2002 Pre-Budget Report

                                                (PBR) forecast for 2002-03 implies an increase of 2.2% for the year as a

                                                whole.

                                              • Central government current spending is 7.0% up on

                                                the first 10 months of last year. The PBR forecast for 2002-03 implies an

                                                increase of 6.8% for the year as a whole.

                                              • Public sector next investment is 2.8% up on the

                                                first 10 months of last year. The PBR forecast for 2002-03 implies an

                                                increase of 53.9% for the year as a whole.

                                              ]]>
                                              http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/1821 Thu, 20 Feb 2003 00:00:00 +0000
                                              <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin January 2003]]>

                                              Headline comparisons

                                              • Central government current receipts are 1.6% up on

                                                the first 9 months of last year. The November 2002 Pre-Budget Report (PBR)

                                                forecast for 2002-03 implies an increase of 2.2% for the year as a whole.

                                              • Central government current spending is 7.0% up on

                                                the first 9 months of last year. The PBR forecast for 2002-03 implies an

                                                increase of 6.8% for the year as a whole.

                                              • Public sector next investment is 11.3% up on the

                                                first 9 months of last year. The PBR forecast for 2002-03 implies an

                                                increase of 53.9% for the year as a whole.

                                              ]]>
                                              http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/1822 Tue, 21 Jan 2003 00:00:00 +0000
                                              <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin December 2002]]>

                                              Headline comparisons

                                              • Central government current receipts are 1.2% up on

                                                the first 8 months of last year. The November 2002 Pre-Budget Report (PBR)

                                                forecast for 2002-03 implies an increase of 2.2% for the year as a whole.

                                              • Central government current spending is 7.6% up on

                                                the first 8 months of last year. The PBR forecast for 2002-03 implies an

                                                increase of 6.0% for the year as a whole.

                                              • Public sector next investment is 16.5% up on the

                                                first 8 months of last year. The PBR forecast for 2002-03 implies an

                                                increase of 62.0% for the year as a whole.

                                              ]]>
                                              http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/1823 Thu, 19 Dec 2002 00:00:00 +0000
                                              <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin November 2002]]>

                                              Headline comparisons

                                              • Central government current receipts are 1.0% up on

                                                the first 7 months of last year. The Budget 2002 forecast for 2002.03

                                                implies an increase of 4.1% for the year as a whole.

                                              • Central government current spending is 7.0% up on

                                                the first 7 months of last year. The Budget 2002 forecast for 2002.03

                                                implies an increase of 5.8% for the year as a whole.

                                              • Public sector next investment is 21.6% up on the

                                                first 7 months of last year. The Budget 2002 forecast for 2002.03 implies

                                                an increase of 63.1% for the year as a whole.

                                              ]]>
                                              http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/1824 Wed, 20 Nov 2002 00:00:00 +0000
                                              <![CDATA[Public finance bulletin December 2002]]>

                                              Headline comparisons

                                              • Central government current receipts are 2.1% up on

                                                the first 6 months of last year. The Budget 2002 forecast for 2002-03

                                                implies an increase of 4.1% for the year as a whole.

                                              • Central government current spending is 8.0% up on

                                                the first 6 months of last year. The Budget 2002 forecast for 2002-03

                                                implies an increase of 5.8% for the year as a whole.

                                              • Public sector next investment is 14.0% up on the

                                                first 6 months of last year. The Budget 2002 forecast for 2002-03 implies

                                                an increase of 63.1% for the year as a whole.

                                              ]]>
                                              http://zippy.ifs.org.uk/publications/1825 Fri, 18 Oct 2002 00:00:00 +0000