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18th July 2019 Robust Demand For Mortgages In UK

Lenders in Britain report demand for mortgages rose significantly in the second quarter of 2019 and is expected to hold steady in the third quarter according to the Bank of England BoE.

At the same time people are saving more and borrowing less via unsecured lending which fell in the second quarter. Rising wages may mean UK consumers need to borrow less. as credit card lending fell.

18th July 2019 UK Retail Sales Jump In June

According to the Office for National Statistics ONS retail sales volumes jumped when many UK retail experts were forecasting a retail sales volume fall.

17th July 2019 UK Inflation Holds At 2 Percent

The Office for National Statistics ONS has reported that UK inflation remained at 2 percent in June which is bang on Bank Of Englands BoE historic healthy inflation target. This means there is no pressure to change UK interest rates.

10th July 2019 UK Economy Still Growing Despite Global Economic Contraction In Trade

UK economic growth was 0.3 percent in May according to the Office for National Statistics ONS. The UK economy also grew 0.3 percent in the three months to the end of May. All sectors of UK economy grew over this three month period.

The ONS has also reported that the UK economy did not contract in March as it previously reported. In fact it grew and grew despite large parts of UK car manufacturing shutting down at the time the UK was supposed to leave the European Union EU.

Political gesturing by commentators and politicians that the UK is probably in recession now is premature and dangerous. It may serve their purpose but not the people of the UK or its businesses


The UK economy is still growing in the face of relatively unprecedented international global trade wars and unsettling geopolitics. The UK economy is demonstrating extraordinary resilience with record high employment levels rising wages and growing standard of living with wages rising faster than inflation.

Although there has been regrettable fall in car production there have also been positive announcements in the automotive industry. BMW will produce an electric mini in 2020 and Jaguar Land Rover will produce an electric car model too.

If the UK can invest significant money in infrastructure and build more homes in next few years this will a sufficient boost to drive forward the UK economy.

5th July 2019 UK Skills Gap and Brexit Pushing Up UK Average Wages

Average wages in UK have increased by more than 2 percent for a year and a half. According to the Office for National Statistics ONS wages increased by 2.1 percent in the three months to end of March 2019.

Cheap labour from overseas has been less evident and UK employers are having to pay more to attract and retain employees. The demand for new employees far outstrips supply of adequately skilled employees. As a result those that do have the skills can ask for higher wages.

1st July 2019 UK Consumer Credit Growth Rate Slowed To 5 Year Low In May

According to the Bank of England annual growth in consumer credit in UK slowed to a 5 year low in May.

UK consumer credit increased by 5.6 percent year on year in May 2019. This is lowest rate of growth since April 2015.


UK consumers are not borrowing as much money to buy cars or as much on credit cards or other unsecured loans as the global economy faces increasing threats from international trade disputes particularly between USA and China.

UK consumers are saving more money than at any time since September 2016.


Although unsecured lenders in UK are cautious mortgage firms are making it cheaper to mortgage as many lenders have reduced mortgage rates on the market.

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5th June 2019 UK Services Sector Grows Faster

The UK Services Sector is growing faster than most predicted. Britains services sector had its second consecutive month of growth in May according to IHS Markit UK Services Purchasing Managers Index PMI.

Employment in UK services Sector jumped in May.

14th May 2019 UK Unemployment At Lowest Since January 1975 According To Office For National Statistics ONS

Record low unemployment levels are helping to push up wages in UK. Wages are rising by 3.3 percent on average.

The employment rate in the UK is at the joint highest on record at 76.1 percent of workers.

4th May 2019 UK Economy Growing Faster Than Forecast

Bank of England BoE has upgraded its economic forecast for UK growth in 2019 to 1.5 percent from 1.2 percent only forecast in February 2019.

18th April 2019 UK Inflation 1.9 Percent

UK inflation in March  stayed at 1.9 percent below the Bank of England BoE inflation target which means there is little pressure to increase UK interest rates any time soon.

In addition as average wages are increasing at 3.4 percent the standard of living in UK continues to rise.

Retail sales have jumped supported by resilient confidence in UK economy and relatively warm weather. Year on year growth was 6.7 percent in March the highest rate since October 2016.

20th March 2019 UK Inflation Rate Remains Close To Recent Low

UKs inflation rate has increased slightly but still close to two year low according to the Office for National Statistics ONS.

In February the UK inflation rate was 1.9 percent which is still below Bank of Englands BoE 2 percent healthy inflation rate target so short term pressure to increase UK interest rate is still insignificant.

Weak UK inflation is significantly below average UK wage increases which means on average the standard of living in UK is rising.

19th March 2019 UK Employment Rate Highest Since Records Began In 1971

According to the Office for National Statistics ONS the number of employed people in the UK has risen to a new record number of 32.7 million people between November and January

UK unemployment rate is at 3.9 percent which is the lowest since 1975.

Average weekly earnings excluding bonuses increased by 3.4 percent well ahead of inflation meaning that average living standards continue to rise in UK.

British employers increased their hiring at the fastest pace since 2015 in the three months to January 2019.

The number of job vacancies in the UK economy increased by 4000 to 854000. The growing skills gap in the UK suggests that

  • the UK economy is healthy
  • wages are set to rise faster
  • their is increasing pressure to increase UK interest rates
  • UK deficit is set to fall further is the UK government does not increase spending

Employers in UK need to invest more in training and upskilling existing workforce to retain staff and protect business resilience.

Yesterdays spanner in the Brexit process works by the Speaker of the House Of Commons has made it more likely that the UK Prime Ministers Brexit deal will somehow be approved. If this is the case then the UK economy will be boosted. The boost will come from private investment and massive public spending Brexit dividend promised by UK Chancellor. 

19th February 2019 Employment Rate In UK Highest Since 1971 which is when records began

According to the Office for National Statistics ONS UK employment rate is the highest since 1971 during the period October to December 2018.

UK unemployment rate remains lowest since 1975 at 4 percent.

UK weekly average earnings rose 3.4 percent. Real wages in UK adjusted for inflation are now at the highest level since March 2011.

Job vacancies in the UK are at the highest level since records began. This means wage increases in the UK will continue to outstrip inflation in UK as employers face a skills gap crisis and have to pay more to attract and retain employees.

13th February 2019 UK Inflation Fell To Two Year Low In January

UK consumer prices rose at an annual rate of 1.8 percent in January falling from 2.1 percent in December according to the Office for National Statistics ONS. Factory input inflation costs are also slowing.

Falling energy costs was a large contributor to slowing inflation. However higher energy costs are becoming a reality as the UKs top six energy providers this week to raise prices.

16th January 2019 UK Inflation Rate Fell To 2.1 Percent in December

UK inflation falls from 2.3 percent in November according to the Office for National Statistics ONS. The fall of inflation means that UK interest rates should remain stable for foreseeable.

On average the standard of living in UK is rising based on the fact that average UK pay growth is rising at 3.3 percent.

8th January 2019 UK House Prices Continue To Rise According To Halifax Bank

UK house prices rose at 1.3 percent in the three months to December beating most expert economic forecasts that suggested house prices would only rise by 0.4 percent.

31st December 2018 Spending On Entertainment In UK Grow Healthily and Set To Continue

Spending on entertainment grew 9 percent year on year in 2018. People were eating and drinking out more in 2018 compared to previous year.

The pub and restaurant sectors spending grew 11.2 percent and 8.7 percent respectively according to Barclaycard the most popular credit card supplier in the UK.

18th December 2018 UK Manufacturing Orders Grow For Second Month

British factory orders grew for a second month in a row in December according to Confederation of British Industry CBI.

18th December 2018UK Inflation Fell To Lowest Level Since March 2017

  • UK inflation fell to 2.3 percent in November down from 2.4 percent in October according to the Office for National Statistics ONS

With average wages rising at 3.1 percent the fall in inflation helps to improve the standard of living in the UK on average.

UK house prices are still rising despite uncertainty around Brexit. House prices are rising at 2.7 percent.

11th December 2018 UK Employers Are Recruiting More Than Ever

UK employers hiring intentions at 18 month high according to latest Manpower Employment Survey including retail and public sector despite recent failure of retail businesses and Brexit worries.

11th December 2018 UK Employment Figures Demonstrates That It Is Good That Politicians Are Tied Up With Brexit 

UK lawmakers have been tied up with Brexit for the last couple of years and had little time for any other tinkering with the UK statute book. The country is effectively running itself and this is no bad thing! Politicians on both sides of parliament are not fit to run the country but luckily the country can run itself.

The Office for National Statistics ONS has confirmed that the UK had the joint highest employment rate since records began in 1971 in the period August to October 2018. 75.7 percent of people aged 16 to 64 were in paid work.

    • Record numbers of people are in work in UK
    • Average earnings are at their highest level for a decade
    • UK jobless rate is 0.2% lower than a year ago at 4.1 percent
    • UK average earnings increased by 3.3 percent in the year to October. This is the highest figure since 2008
    • UK wages are rising substantially above latest inflation rate of 2.4 percent so on average living standards in UK rising relatively rapidly.
    • Real earnings growing faster than at any time since around the end of 2016
  • Job vacancies were up by 10,000 on the quarter to a record high of 848000

Many want to portray the UK economy as a basket case for their own ends but it is more grey than black and white. The collapse of the value of the pound creates massive opportunities for exporting more overseas. There are always opportunities from downside risks.

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14th November 2018 UK Inflation In October Was 2.4 Percent

According to the Office for National Statistics ONS reported UK inflation remaining at 2.4 percent.

Average wages in UK are rising at 3.2 percent which is slightly higher than previous rate which means the standard of living in the UK is accelerating.

Basic wages in UK rising at fastest rate since 2008 over the three months to September

UK wages are set to increase further due to the highest employment levels ever high unfilled job vacancies and a growing skills gap requiring UK employers to pay more to attract and retain employees.

9th November 2018 Britains Economy Grew Healthily But Not Spectacularly 

  • UK economy is growing at 1.5 percent on an annualised basis
  • Gross Domestic Product GDP in third quarter of 2018 was 0.6 percent.
  • Third quarter UK economic growth was the fastest quarterly growth since fourth quart of 2016.

According to the Office for National Statistics ONS the UK economy grew healthily in the third quarter but not rapidly. Growth in the third quart was faster than the second quarter which was 0.4 percent.

UK economy growing 3 times faster than Eurozone economy in third quarter of 2018. Whilst both do not compare to USA China or India, UK business leaders need to get UK economic risk into perspective and start investing in their business to seize new business development opportunities

Comparing UK economic growth in the third quarter with economic growth in the same period for the eurozone we find that the UK was growing 3 times faster than the eurozone at 0.2 percent.

29th October 2018 Follow UK Budget Live and Read Highlights

8 straight years of UK growth. Predicting 800000 more jobs by 2023. Proportion of low paid jobs at lowest level since 1997. Office for Budget Responsibility OBR forecasting real wage growth every year for next 5 years. Budget deficit down from nearly 10 percent 8 years ago to 1.4 percent next year and to fall to 0.8 percent of GDP by 2023 to 2024.

  • Government increasing provision for supporting Brexit deal or no deal
  • OBR forecasting UK growth of 1.6 percent in 2019 1.4 percent in 2020 and 2021 and 1.5 percent in 2022 and 1.6 percent in 2023
  • New mental health crisis service announced. 24 hour mental health crisis hotline to be created.
  • Local councils to get more money for social care. Extra 650 million pounds for English councils for 2019 to 2020.
  • Defence MOD to get 1 billion pounds more this year and next for cyber measures and submarines.
  • Extra 160 million pounds of funding for counter terrorism policing in 2019 to 2020
  • Education to get 400 million for schools to apply for.
  • Pot holes filing funding of 420 million
  • 1.6 billion of new investment to support governments industrial strategy
  • National Productivity Investment Fund to increase to over 38 billion by 2023 2024.
  • New PFI contracts for future projects to be abolished. Existing PFI contracts to be honoured.
  • Increasing annual business investment allowance from 200000 pounds to 1 million pounds for two years
  • Extra 200 million pounds funding for British Business Bank
  • Small business apprenticeship levy to be halved to 5 percent
  • New UK digital services tax to be introduced on companies with global revenues of over 500 million pounds in April 2020
  • UK High Street to be supported with 675 million pound future High Streets investment fund to rejuvenate High Streets in UK.
  • For next two years business rates to be cut for smaller English retailers by one third
  • UK housing sector changes to include stamp duty relief and more funding in partnership with housing associations.
  • Increasing the Transformation Cities Fund to 2.4 billion pounds
  • Nearly 1 billion extra for the Scottish government by 2020 to 2021
  • Extra 550 million for the Welsh government and 320 million for Northern Ireland Executive
  • New tax on manufacture and import of plastic packaging that is 30 percent recyclable or less
  • Freezing fuel duty again. Tobacco escalator will continue to rise. Freeze on beer and cider duty. Freeze on duty on spirits.
  • Universal Credit changes to include transitional funding of an extra 1 billion pounds over 5 years. Plus 1.7 billion extra funding via Universal Credit work allowances increasing by up to 1000 pounds per year
  • National Living Wage to rise in April 2019 from £7.83 to £8.21.
  • UK Tax Personal Allowance to rise to 12500 from 11850 pounds and Higher Rate Tax Allowance of 50000 from 46350 pounds changes from April 2019.

19th October 2018 UK Budget Deficit Smaller Than Expected In September

The UK budget deficit reduces again according to figures from the Office for National Statistics ONS. The UK has taken more money in taxes and increased spending over the period.

UK deficit this financial year is 19.9 billion pounds down 35 percent from 2017 the smallest total at this stage of the year since 2002

The UK will unveil its new budget on 29th October 2018.

  • UK deficit in 2010 9.9 percent of GDP
  • UK government forecast in March 2018 that deficit in 2018 financial year will be 1.8 percent of GDP.
  • Total UK public debt is 1.79 trillion pounds or 84.3 percent of GDP which is more than double its level before the financial crisis in 2008. Taking out the effect of Bank of England BoE Quantitative Easing QE and money injection total public debt is 75.3 percent of GDP

The UK economy has slowed but it is still growing.

17th October 2018 UK Inflation Slows In September

UK consumer price growth slowed to 2.4 percent in September compared to 2.7 percent in August according to the Office for National Statistics ONS.

16th October 2018 UK Unemployment Continues To Fall Wages Rising Faster

  • UK unemployment has fallen by 47000 in the three months to August
  • UK unemployment rate is 4 percent
  • UK employment levels remain at near record highs
  • Average earnings with bonuses increased at 2.7 percent in three months to August
  • Average pay without bonuses jumped 3.1 percent year on year
  • Average pay without bonuses jumped at it fastest rate since 2009

A job seekers market has dawned. Job hunters are in the driving seat. UK employers will need to pay more to attract new talent to fill skills gap.

Bank of England predicting UK average weekly earnings will grow at 3.25 percent in 2019 and 3.5 percent in 2020

UK unemployment is at lowest level since 1975. Youth unemployment in UK is at a record all time low.

Wage increases in UK have outstripped UK inflation for 7 consecutive months increasing the standard of living in UK over the period

UK job vacancies remain at near record level suggests that wages are going to have to rise faster to attract talented workers out of their existing jobs.

If wages increase at low paid end of the jobs market this would reduce the cost to the public and lower government spending as low paid UK workers would get more from employer and less from the state.

There is an argument for pushing up the minimum wage in UK to reduce working poverty create a real living wage and reduce public spending.

Manufacturers in UK are struggling to find the skills needs to maintain supply. Much of the constraint on growth in UK manufacturing is down to lack of workers not other risk factors like lack of finance or capital access. This may lead to more automation. Alternatively UK employers will need to invest more in training their employees to fill the skills gap.

10th October 2018 UK Economic Growth Faster Than Many Experts Forecast

UK GDP in three months to August was faster than expected by many economists according to figures from the Office for National Statistics ONS.

Annual UK growth is currently running at 1.5 percent.

20th September 2018 Booming August UK Retail Sales

Actual UK retail sales outstripped most economic expert forecasts. As is normally the case the UK economic growth is accelerating as the year progresses.

UK retail sales in August were extremely buoyant according to figures from the Office for National Statistics ONS.

UK inflation jumped to a six month high of 2.7 percent in the 12 months to August.

UK infation still remains below average UK wage rises but only just. The ONS said sales in August were boosted by shops offering promotions on household goods such as furniture and electrical appliances.

17th September 2017 UK Consumer Spending Grows

According to Visa UK consumer spending grew over the three months to August at fastest pace since January 2018.

11th September 2018 UK Standard Of Living Continues To Improve

UK average wages continue to rise faster than inflation. UK wages increased at 2.9 percent in the 3 months to July according to figures from the Office for National Statistics ONS. UK inflation is 2.4 percent so on the standard of living in UK continues to improve.

  • UK unemployment has fallen 55000 to 1.36 million
  •  Unemployment stays at lowest rate in over 40 years
  • Numbers of people in work rose by 3000 to 32.397 million
  • UK job vacancies rose by more than 14000
  • UK job vacancies at record high of 833000 which could push wage increases even higher to attract new workers and retain existing employees
  • UK public sector deficit continues to narrow meaning that the tax take is increasingly covering the cost of public sector costs

The UK economy is growing faster than most economists predicted. A shortage of skilled workers in UK will worsen as the economy expands faster.

The recent increase in interest rate to 0.75 percent looks wise albeit at little late but normalisation of interest rates in UK is likely to continue.

10th September 2018 UK Economic Growth Accelerates

The economy economy grow 0.6 percent in the three months to July according to the Office for National Statistics ONS. This was the fastest growth since August 2017. The construction industry and services sector performed particularly strongly.

In addition to strong domestic growth exports from UK also grew. The UK’s trade deficit narrowed.

21st August 2018 Biggest UK Budget Surplus Reported In July Since 2000

According to the UK Office for National Statistics ONS in July 2018 instead of running a UK budget deficit the UK created a surplus. The UK tax income for the first time since July 2000 was high enough that the UK did not need to borrow money to pay its public sector bills.

Total UK borrowing for the 2018 financial year is at its lowest level for 16 years.

8th August 2018 UK Is Now At Full Employment Levels

A Bank of England policymaker Ian McCafferty thinks the UK is already at full employment level.

The theory is that when the UK hits full employment level wage increase will accelerate as UK employers have to pay more to attract and retain staff.

Faster UK wage growth should increase UK inflation. Prices will rise faster unless the Bank of England combats the extra pound in the pocket from higher wages with higher costs of borrowing. UK interest rate recently increased but that is not the end of interest rate increases in the UK.

20th July 2018 UK Government Borrowing April to June Fell to Lowest Level Since 2007

According to the Office of National Statistics ONS UK government borrowing for the first quarter of the financial year was the lowest for years.

Public sector net debt excluding public sector banks was nearly £1.8 trillion or 85.2 percent of GDP.

UK government borrowing is falling faster than the Office for Budget Responsibility OBR has forecast expected

This may give the UK Chancellor the opportunity to spend more or invest in the November 2018 budget announcement.

17th July 2018 UK Employment At Highest Level Since 1971

The number of people in the UK in employment has hit another record high according to Office for National Statistics ONS. Overall the employment rate was at 75.7pc. Unemployment rate is 4.2 percent according to the Office for National Statistics ONS which is lowest level since 1975.

Average weekly earnings in UK are increasing at 2.5 percent faster than inflation.

14th July 2018 UK Consumer Confident In UK Economy

UK consumer confidence has risen to highest level since Deloitte started measuring UK consumer confidence in 2011.

The UK consumers standard of living is rising as on average wages are now rising faster than prices. Job security is increasingly better due to a growing skills shortage.

10th July 2018 UK Economy Expands Faster As The Year Progresses

According to the Office for National Statistics ONS the UK economy picked up growth expansion in May.

Year on year in May the UK economy grew 1.5 percent. Whilst 1.5 percent GDP is not rapid growth it is still significant growth and much better than contraction feared by many.

4th July 2018 UK Economy Is Much Stronger Than Many Economists Want To Talk About

UK services sector reported its fastest rise in activity since last October in June this year according to the Purchasing Managers’ Index PMI from IHS Markit.

UK services sector makes up around 80 percent of total UK economic growth. Recent UK economic performance in May and June indicates that the UK economy is performing better than most economic commentators are prepared to express.

Overall UK economic activity in June grew at the strongest pace since October 2017.

29th June 2018 UKs Economic Growth Revised Up 1st Quarter of 2018

According to the Office for National Statistics ONS the UK grew faster in the first quarter than the ONS initially thought. The UK economy grew 0.2 percent in the first quarter of 2018. Whilst this is much slower than growth in the last quarter of 2017 the UKs growth tends to be faster at the end of the year rather than the beginning. UK growth each year starts slow and accelerates as the year progresses.

The ONS also reported that the UK services sector grew 0.3 percent in April which was the fastest monthly increase since November 2017. The UK services sector powers around 80 percent of the UK economy.

29th June 2018 Exports Goods and Services At Record High and Trade Gap Narrows

Trade figures released by UK government revealed that in the 12 months to March 2018 UK exports were at an all time high.

EU countries represent around 40 percent of all exports from UK.

Research from Barclays Corporate Banking found that around two thirds of consumers in India and China and around half of consumers in the UAE were prepared to pay more for goods made in the UK because they perceive the quality as higher.

The trade deficit with the world continued to narrow to 80 billion pounds which is the narrowest UK trade deficit since 2012.

The UK Department for Trade and Industry DTI has set up 14 trade working groups covering 21 countries to scope the UKs overseas trading deals and strengthen ties with key trading partners.

21st June 2018 UK Government Borrowing Continues To Fall

The UKs debt is still rising but not as fast as was forecast. UK owes 1.85 trillion pounds.

UK government  borrowing fell to 5bn pounds in May down 2bn pounds from a year earlier. Borrowing for the financial year to date to 11.8bn pounds 4.1bn pounds less than in the same period in 2017. 

Last financial years borrowing was not as high as previously stated. The Office for National Statistics ONS revised down its figure for government borrowing in 2017 2018 to 39.5bn pounds. This is the lowest annual level of UK borrowing in 11 years.

Once again it looks like the economic experts economic forecasts of misery for the UK appear to be oversold. Take most economic forecasts with a pinch of salt. However you are in control of your own destiny whatever the economic experts predict.

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20th June 2018 Big Jump In UK Industrial Orders In June

According to the Confederation of British Industry CBI British manufacturers have reported a big rise in orders in June.

The UKs rising standard of living due to wages rising faster than inflation suggests that the consumer in UK will also give a boost to the services sector throughout the rest of 2018.

The services sector accounts for around 80 percent of the UKs Gross Domestic Product GDP. The UKs GDP should also start to increase faster for the rest of 2018.

If the UKs construction industry could chip in with some growth the UK economy will be pretty productive for 2018 as a whole.

Now is the time to invest in your business in UK. Do not listen to the doom mongers! Your competitors maybe waiting to see what happens regarding trade wars Brexit immigration or for the cow to jump over the moon but you must not wait. Do not procrastinate. Seize the opportunity to beat your competitors to new business today.

18th June 2018 UK Household Income Growth Creates Spending Power and UK Economic Growth Potential For Rest 2018

UK consumers to benefit from fastest income growth for years in June according to Household Finance Index HFI from IHS Markit. This was biggest jump since the surveys started in 2009.

If UK consumers spend instead of save or pay off existing debt then the UK economy should get a boost during 2018.

13th June 2018 UK Inflation In May Steady

UK inflation stuck at 2.4 percent in May according to Office for National Statistics ONS. On average the standard of living is improving on the basis that average wages are now increasing faster than prices are rising. Average UK wages excluding bonuses are currently rising at 2.8 percent year on year.

UK unemployment rate remains at its lowest since 1970s at 4.2 percent. There are more people in work in UK and job vacancies in UK are very high. Wage growth in UK should accelerate though wage inflation has been kept stubbornly low.

5th June 2018 Should Experts Be Surprised Retail Sales In May Bounced Back?

UK retail sales bounce back in May after the Beast From The East bad weather in April deterred consumers from spending. Consumers bought summer fashion and hit the pubs and restaurants  or splashed out on garden gear and dusted off BBQs. Retailers saw the fastest growth in sales since January 2014 according to British Retail Consortium BRC.

Barclaycard said consumer spending grew by 5.1 percent year on year in May the highest level recorded since April 2017. Spending in garden centres jumped 50 percent over the three day early May bank holiday weekend compared with the same long weekend in 2017 according to Barclaycard.

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23rd May 2018 UK Public Finances More Healthy Than Forecast

The UK started the new financial year in April with a lower than forecast budget deficit.

According to the UK Office for National Statistics ONS the budget deficit this financial year is more than a billion pounds less than April last year.

UK budget deficit for 2017 2018 is 2 percent of gross domestic product GDP which is the smallest budget deficit as a share of GDP since 2001 2002

24th April 2018 UK Government Borrowing 11 Year Low

UK borrowing fallen to lowest annual level in 11 years. Office for National Statistics ONS reports borrowing of nearly 43 billion pounds. Last financial year borrowing was below forecast of 45 billion pounds.

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