Boost for Chancellor as borrowing undershoots target

Chancellor Philip Hammond has beaten his full-year budget deficit target after borrowing fell sharply in March as official figures also revealed the first surplus on day-to-day government spending for 16 years.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said overall public sector net borrowing (excluding public sector banks) fell £3.5 billion to £42.6 billion in the fiscal year after the lowest March borrowing for 14 years.

The full-year figure was the lowest since 2006-07 and was also below the £45.2 billion predicted by the UK's fiscal watchdog, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

It comes after borrowing fell £800 million year on year to £1.3 billion in March - the lowest borrowing for the month since 2004.

The ONS data also showed a £112 million surplus in 2017-18 on the UK's current budget, which measures day-to-day spending by the Government - the first surplus since 2001-02.