IFS analysis of today’s public finance figures: for immediate release

#AceDebtNews says just received a "Press Release" Subject: IFS analysis of today’s Public Finance Figures:

"Immediate Release"

IFS analysis of today’s public finance figures: for immediate release

Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances November 2013. We now have details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the first eight months of financial year 2013–14.

Headline Comparisons

· Central government current receipts in November were 4.6% higher than in the same month last year. Receipts between April and November 2013 were 4.0% higher than in the same months of 2012, excluding the impact of transfers related to the Asset Purchase Facility. The Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR’s) latest Economic and Fiscal Outlook, published earlier this month, forecast an increase in receipts relative to last year’s levels of 3.6% for the year as a whole and a fall of 1.1% for the period from November 2013 to March 2014. This forecast growth for the year as a whole is slightly higher than the 2.8% forecast by the OBR at the time of the March 2013 Budget.

· Central government current spending in November was 1.8% lower than in the same month last year. Spending between April and November 2013 was 1.8% higher than in the same months of 2012. The OBR’s latest forecast implies an increase relative to last year’s level of 1.9% for the year as a whole and of 1.4% for the period from November 2013 to March 2014. This is forecast growth for the year as a whole is largely unchanged from the 2.1% previously forecast by the OBR at the time of the March 2013 Budget.

· Public sector net investment in November was £2.3 billion, £0.6 billion more than was spent in November last year. Public sector net investment between April and November 2013 has been £13.1bn (excluding the impact of the transfer of assets from the Royal Mail Pension Plan to the public sector), which is 7.2% higher than in the same eight months of 2012. The OBR’s latest forecast was that net investment in 2013–14 would be £24.9bn (excluding the impact of the transfer of assets from the Royal Mail Pension Plan to the public sector), which is 9.8% above last year’s level.

Courtesy of Rowena Crawford, a senior research economist at the IFS, said:

“Two weeks ago the Office for Budget Responsibility updated its forecasts to predict lower borrowing, lower spending and higher receipts than it had previously forecast in March. Today’s figures are consistent with that overall picture; receipts from many of the major taxes continue to grow strongly and central government spending continues to grow less quickly than the OBR forecast for the year as a whole.

A £2.6 billion upward revision to estimated borrowing over the year so far means that borrowing is now estimated to have been higher than was thought last month. However, with four months of the financial year left much uncertainty remains, and the OBR’s forecast for borrowing this year may still prove to be correct.”

The full analysis can be downloaded from: http://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/7023

Previous analysis of public finance figures can be found at: http://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/browse?type=pf

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