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Public Sector - January: £1.2bn current budget surplus

The public sector showed a surplus on current the budget of £1.2 billion in January 2010, compared with a surplus of £10.2 billion in January 2009.

More generally, the public sector recorded deficits between 1991/92 and 1997/98 before moving into surplus in 1998/99. Deficits have been recorded since 2002/03.

An alternative measure of the public sector fiscal position is public sector net borrowing. This additionally takes account of capital investment. In January 2010, there was net borrowing of £4.3 billion, which compares with net borrowing of -£5.3 billion (net lending) in January 2009. The PBR forecast for 2009/10 is net borrowing of £178 billion.

Public sector net debt, expressed as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), was 59.9 per cent at the end of January 2010 compared with 50.0 per cent at end of January 2009. Net debt was £848.5 billion at the end of January compared with £708.0 billion a year earlier.

Public sector net debt (excluding financial interventions) was £743.1 billion (equivalent to 52.7 per cent of GDP) at the end of December 2009. This compares to £596.9 billion (42.1 per cent of GDP) as at the end of December 2008.

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