Britain’s surplus reached £1 billion in July
Britain’s surplus reached £1 billion in July, according to the Office for National Statistics.
The surplus was lower than what most economists had forecast, indicating that borrowing is falling at a slower pace than what the government had previously hoped for.
The government received £977 billion more in July than it spent on public services. However, surplus was £200 million lower compared to the same month last year.
Economists had forecast a surplus of around £1.6 billion.
July is usually a strong month for British finances because of revenues from corporation tax and self-assessed income taxes.
The total surplus in the four month period (April to July) was £23.7 billion, about £3 billion less than the same period last year.
Britain’s new Treasury chief Philip Hammond is taking a more gradual approach to reducing the country’s deficit compared to his predecessor George Osborne – scrapping his goal to close the deficit by 2020.
Hammond’s policies will become clearer later this year when he presents his Autumn Statement.
The Chief Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke, said: “With the public finances in surplus in July, our economy starts from a position of strength to face any economic turbulence following the vote to leave the EU.
“As we keep working to cut the deficit, we are well-placed to handle any challenges and seize the opportunities as our economy adjusts.”
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said: “The UK economy needs immediate investment from the government, rather than sticking to the failed policies of George Osborne which have helped create the problem.
“Britain is on hold waiting for Philip Hammond to tell us whether he will stick to his predecessor’s planned cuts to investment, and firms and households can’t wait until the autumn to find out.”