Breaking News
Investing Pro 0
Free Webinar - Unlock Divergence Trading: Learn from Seth Julian MBA | TThursday, March 23, 2023 | 10:00AM PST Enroll Now

Energy support, debt interest help to swell UK borrowing

Economic Indicators Jan 24, 2023 06:31AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The sun shines behind an electricity pylon near Oxford, Britain, January 23, 2023. REUTERS/Toby Melville

By Andy Bruce

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's government borrowed more last month than in any December since monthly records began 30 years ago, reflecting the huge cost of energy support and soaring debt interest linked to rising inflation.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said public sector net borrowing, excluding state-owned banks, was 27.4 billion pounds ($33.97 billion) in December, up from 10.7 billion pounds a year earlier.

A Reuters poll of economists had pointed to borrowing of 17.75 billion pounds for December.

The ONS said the large figure for borrowing in December was mostly down to a sharp rise in spending on energy support schemes and an increase in debt interest.

"Overall, today's worse-than-expected public finances figures will only embolden the Chancellor in the Budget on March 15 to keep a tight grip on the public finances," Ruth Gregory, an economist at Capital Economics, said.

She added that finance minister Jeremy Hunt would likely need to wait until closer to the next general election - due in January 2025 at the latest - before he can announce tax cuts.

In response to the data, Hunt said it was vital that the government stuck to its goal of halving inflation - which most economists think will happen naturally, due to a base effect and lower energy prices - and growing the economy.

Debt interest accrued by the government in December totalled 17.3 billion pounds, the highest figure for the month since monthly records began and reflecting the impact of double-digit inflation on index-linked government bonds.

Borrowing for December was some 9.8 billion pounds more than the 17.6 billion pounds forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).

However, almost all of that difference reflected a revaluation of student loans last year, incorporated into the OBR's forecasts but not yet shown in the ONS data.

The ONS said it would record the revaluation once more definitive estimates were available.

An ONS statistician said the true gap between the ONS and OBR estimates was likely only about 1.2 billion pounds, if they were to account for student loans in the same way.

($1 = 0.8065 pounds)

Energy support, debt interest help to swell UK borrowing

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.
  • Any comment you publish, together with your profile, will be public on and may be indexed and available through third party search engines, such as Google.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email