Government borrowing hit a three-year high in October after a steep rise in spending and a slowdown in tax receipt growth, according to official figures. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said public sector net borrowing, excluding state-owned banks, rose by £1.6 billion last month to £8.8bn.This was the highest October borrowing since 2015 and was far more than the £6.2bn economists had expected.The ONS said tax receipts in October increased 1.2% year on year, lower than the 4.3% rise seen for the year to date.Government expenditure grew 7.7% to £65.4bn due to higher spending on interest rates and goods and services.But despite the October surge, year-to-date borrowing was still sharply lower at £26.7 billion – down by £11.2bn year-on-year and the lowest for 13 years.Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said: “Hefty public borrowing in October has brought the run of good news on the public finances to an abrupt end, though it’s too soon to conclude that the Chancellor [Philip Hammond] is set to miss the forecasts laid out in last month’s Budget.”He said borrowing for the full year ending March will total £28.2bn, above the Office for Budget Responsibility’s new forecast of £25.5bn if the… Read full this story
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