House of Commons Library

Public Finances: Key Economic Indicators

Published Thursday, December 21, 2017

Latest data on government net borrowing and net debt.

Jump to full report >>

Net borrowing

Government borrowing in the current financial year to date (April to November 2017) was £3.1 billion lower compared with the same period in 2016. This is equivalent to a decrease of 6%. However, the OBR forecast that borrowing across the financial year will be higher in 2017/18 than in 2016/17. The OBR expect growth in tax receipts to slow in the later part of 2017/18, pushing up borrowing.

Public sector net borrowing, % GDP

Net debt

At the end of November 2017 public sector net debt was equivalent to 84.6% of GDP, up 1.2% points on November 2016.

2016/17 figures and figures for the current financial year are provisional

The ONS’s figures for 2016/17 are provisional: they are not final figures and may be revised over the coming months as provisional data are replaced with finalised and audited data.


Net borrowing – often described as the deficit – is the difference between what the government spends and what it receives in taxes over a particular time period.

Net debt is the total amount that the public sector owes – it is largely the stock of past borrowing.

All figures exclude public sector banks.




Commons Briefing papers SN02812

Author: Matthew Keep

Topics: Economic situation, Public expenditure

Share this page