According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the United Kingdom’s (UK) public sector net debt exceeded 100% of its GDP in May. This is the first time this has happened since 1961. The debt, which doesn’t include state-controlled banks, reached £2.567 trillion ($3.28 trillion), making up 100.1% of the country’s GDP. Government borrowing in May was slightly lower than in April but still higher than expected. Meanwhile, inflation remained stable, contrary to predictions of a decrease.
Public Sector Net Debt Surpasses 100% of GDP
- The UK‘s public sector net debt, excluding state-controlled banks, has reached a significant milestone.
- According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the debt has climbed to £2.567 trillion, which is equivalent to 100.1% of the country’s GDP.
- This is the first time since 1961 that the UK has seen its debt rise to such a high level compared to its economic output.
Government Borrowing Exceeds Expectations
- In terms of government borrowing, the ONS has reported that in May, the government borrowed £20.045 billion.
- This amount exceeded the expectations of economists who participated in a Reuters poll, where the consensus was set at £19.5 billion.
- Although this borrowing figure was slightly lower than April’s, it was more than double the borrowing level recorded in May 2022.
- Furthermore, it stood as the second-highest borrowing ever recorded for the month of May since records began.
Economist Divya Sridhar from PwC noted that this substantial borrowing could have implications for increased government spending. Higher debt interest payments and inflation-linked benefits and tax credits may necessitate additional expenditures.
Steady Inflation Adds Pressure
- The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed that the annual inflation rate in the UK remained unchanged in May, contrary to expectations of a slight decrease.
- This news has put additional pressure on both the government and consumers.
- The steady inflation rate is expected to have implications for increased spending, as it will result in higher debt interest payments and adjustments to inflation-linked benefits and tax credits.
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