PwC comments on the latest public sector borrowing data

20/11/20

Dr Jonathan Gillham, chief economist at PwC, comments on this morning's public finance data:

"Government debt rose by another £22.3bn in October, meaning that total debt is now 100.8% of the size of the UK economy. Government debt has not been this high since the early 1960s. Large-scale spending announcements around defence, reducing carbon emissions and emergency coronavirus support measures combined with lower tax receipts and weak economic growth will inevitably mean Government debt will reach 105% of GDP in the next few months. 

"However, markets are not overly concerned by this news - the Bank of England has committed to buy another £150bn of public debt, the UK’s credit rating is relatively stable and borrowing remains cheap. ONS figures for October show interest on borrowing fell by £4.4bn compared to October last year. 

"All eyes will now turn to next week's mini spending review. It’s not the comprehensive review we were expecting and the lack of a root and branch review may put pressure on the Government’s ability to push through some of its big agenda items like civil service reform and levelling up."

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