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UK Public Borrowing Lowest In 17 Years

UK government borrowing was the lowest in 17 years in the financial year ended March 31, and exceeded the official forecast, the Office for National Statistics said on Wednesday.

The public borrowing in the latest full financial year from April 2018 to March 2019 was GBP 24.7 billion, which was GBP 17.2 billion less than in the previous year.

The borrowing was the lowest since April 2001 to March 2002, the ONS said.

The full year borrowing was GBP 1.9 billion more than the GBP 22.8 billion that the Office for Budget Responsibility had forecast.

In March, the public sector net borrowing, or PSNB, excluding public sector banks was GBP 1.7 billion, which was GBP 0.9 billion more than in the same month last year. Economists had forecast borrowing of GBP 0.4 billion.

Public debt at the end of March 2019 hit a record high GBP 1,801 billion or 83.1 percent of gross domestic product. The figure increased by GBP 22.1 billion from March 2018. The OBR had forecast debt of GBP 1,803.0 billion.

The government net cash requirement for the full financial year ended March 31 was GBP 35.9 billion, which was GBP 2.7 billion less than in the previous financial year.

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