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For the first time in 57 years, UK government borrowing (the national debt) exceeds the national gross domestic product (GDP) having reached a high of over £103,000,000,000, some 100.9% of UK GDP. Government statisticians predict that public sector borrowing hit £55.3billion in May, almost nine times more than in May 2019 and the highest level of borrowing since records began in 1993. 

The Office of National Statistics have also announced a firming up of their April figures, in which the public sector borrowing for April was revised downwards from £62.1billion by £13.6billion today to more modest level of £48.5billion!

Chancellor Rishi Sunak observed that “today’s figures confirm coronavirus is having a severe impact on our public finances”; fortunately the Office for Budget Responsibility suggest that GDP and government tax receipts have been stronger than some of forecasts suggested during the depths of the coronavirus lockdown and that retail sales (often a good indicator of British financial strength) rose 12% month-on-month, starting the process of recouping some of the -18% hit the retail sector took in April as the lockdown started to impact on our lives.

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