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Public Finances: Key Economic Indicators

Published Friday, July 20, 2018

Latest data on government net borrowing and net debt.

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Net borrowing

The ONS has released its fourth provisional estimate for borrowing in 2017/18. The ONS estimates that government borrowed £39.4 billion in 2017/18, equivalent to 1.9% of GDP. Borrowing in 2017/18 was £6.3 billion lower than in 2016/17.

Borrowing in 2017/18 was the lowest financial year borrowing for 11 years.

Public sector net borrowing, % GDP

Net debt

At the end of June 2018 public sector net debt was equivalent to 85.2% of GDP, 1% of GDP lower than in June 2018.

Public sector net debt, % GDP

2017/18 figures are provisional

The ONS’s figures for 2017/18 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

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