UK: Borrowing soars in August as Covid costs mount

The UK government borrowed £35.9bn in August as tackling the economic fallout of pandemic took its toll on the public finances, official figures show.

The figure – the difference between spending and tax income – was £30.5bn more than it borrowed in August last year.

The increase meant that the borrowing figure hit its highest amount for August since records began in 1993.

Borrowing between April and August totalled £173.7bn – also a record.

August’s monthly borrowing figure was, however, less than economists had predicted at £38bn, according to Pantheon Macroeconomics.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) also revised down its estimate for UK borrowing in July, by more than £11bn, to £15.4bn, demonstrating how difficult tracking the economy during the pandemic can be.

It also said that total UK debt passed £2 trillion for the first time in history in August, rather than in July as previously thought.


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