Latest Public Sector News

25.04.13

Economy growth dispels fears of triple-dip recession

The UK has closely avoided a triple dip recession, with 0.3% growth, new statistics from the ONS show.

Preliminary estimates for GDP indicate that the economy grew by 0.3% in the first three months of the year, which was better than many expected.

The positive result was mainly due to strong growth in the services sector and recovery in the North Sea oil and gas output.

Chancellor George Osborne said: “Today's figures are an encouraging sign the economy is healing. Despite a tough economic backdrop, we are making progress. The deficit is down by a third, businesses have created over a million and a quarter new jobs, and interest rates are at record lows.

“We all know there are no easy answers to problems built up over many years, and I can't promise the road ahead will always be smooth, but by continuing to confront our problems head on, Britain is recovering and we are building an economy fit for the future.”

The ONS also released the latest data on public sector borrowing this week:

  • Public sector current budget deficit was £10.6 billion in March 2013; this is a £0.9 billion higher deficit than in March 2012, when there was a deficit of £9.7 billion.
  • Public sector net borrowing (PSNB ex) was £15.1 billion in March 2013; this is £1.6 billion lower net borrowing than in March 2012, when net borrowing was £16.7 billion.
  • For 2012/13, public sector net borrowing (PSNB ex) was £86.2 billion; this is £34.7 billion lower net borrowing than in 2011/12, when net borrowing was £120.9 billion.
  • For 2012/13, central government net cash requirement was £109.5 billion; this is £17 billion lower net cash requirement than in 2011/12, when net borrowing was £126.5 billion.
  • In 2012/13, public sector net borrowing and public sector current budget deficit are reduced by £6.4 billion as a result of cash transfers from the Bank of England Asset Purchase Facility Fund to Government.
  • In 2012/13, public sector net borrowing and public sector net investment are reduced by £28.0 billion as a result of the transfer of the Royal Mail Pension Plan in April 2012.
  • After removing the effects of the transfer of the Royal Mail Pension Plan and the transfers from the Bank of England Asset Purchase Facility the first 2012/13 estimate of public sector net borrowing is similar in level to last year’s borrowing at £120.6 billion, £0.3 billion lower net borrowing than in 2011/12.
  • Public sector net debt was £1,185.8 billion at the end of March 2013, equivalent to 75.4% of gross domestic product (GDP).
  • March 2013 public sector net borrowing (PSNB ex) was not affected by the cash transfers from the Bank of England Purchase Facility Fund to Government. The £3.8 billion transferred in March does impact on central government net cash requirement and public sector net debt (PSND ex).

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