Business

UK public sector borrowing falls to £12.1bn in December

Shoppers at Tesco Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption As economic recovery picks up, government borrowing requirements fall

UK government borrowing fell in December to £12.1bn, down £2.1bn from a year earlier, according to official figures.

The estimated figure excludes the effect of bank bailouts, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

Public borrowing for the 2013-14 financial year to date fell to £96.1bn in December - £4.8bn lower than the same period a year ago.

Public sector net debt fell from 76.6% to 75.7% of gross domestic product.

The figures are initial estimates from the ONS and subject to later revision.

The ONS also reported that the unemployment rate had fallen to 7.1% in December, its lowest level since 2009.

Increased economic activity and lower unemployment have helped reduce government borrowing and increased the money flowing into the Treasury's coffers.

Central government receipts were £45.8bn in December, up £1.3bn on the previous year, including a £400m increase in stamp duty reflecting the recent pick-up in the property market.

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