UK government borrowing hits record 128 billion pounds in April-June 2020

Credit: REUTERS/TOBY MELVILLE

British government borrowing surged to a record 127.9 billion pounds in the first three months of the 2020/21 financial year, when COVID-19 lockdown measures were at their tightest, official figures showed on Tuesday.

LONDON, July 21 (Reuters) - British government borrowing surged to a record 127.9 billion pounds in the first three months of the 2020/21 financial year, when COVID-19 lockdown measures were at their tightest, official figures showed on Tuesday.

Public sector net borrowing between April and June was 103.9 billion pounds higher than in the same three months last year, and more than double the 55.4 billion pounds borrowed in all of the 2019/20 tax year which ended in March.

Borrowing in June alone, excluding state-owned banks, was 35.5 billion pounds, five times higher than a year earlier and below economists' average forecast of 41.5 billion pounds in a Reuters poll, following a big downward revision for May.

Public sector net debt, excluding state owned banks, rose to 1.984 trillion pounds, which Britain's Office for National Statistics said was equivalent to 99.6% of gross domestic product - also a downward revision compared with May.

(Reporting by David Milliken and Andy Bruce)

((david.milliken@reuters.com; +44 20 7542 5109; Reuters Messaging: david.milliken.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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