April 21, 2016
The public sector borrowed £74.0 billion in 2015-16, according to the first provisional estimate from the Office for National Statistics. This is £17.7 billion down on last year. The deficit was £1.8 billion higher than we forecast at the time of the Budget in March, more than explained by a £2.1 billion overshoot for local authorities. But, as we pointed out then, these initial annual estimates are highly provisional – since 2011-12 they have been revised up or (more often) down by an average of £3.5 billion over the subsequent 12 months.