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MNI DATA ANALYSIS: UK YTD Borrowing Down; Jan Tax Take Falls>

-UK Jan PSNBex -Stg10.008 billion vs -Stg11.625 million Jan 2017
-UK Year-To-Date PSNB Ex -16.0% over 2016/17 to Stg37.7 billion
-UK January net debt ex BoE 75.9% of GDP vs 78.9% in January 2017
     By Laurie Laird and Jamie Satchithanantham 
     London (MNI) - The UK public finances swung into surplus in 
January, despite a fall in self-assessment tax receipts, leaving 
year-to-date borrowing well below the same period of last year. 
     Excluding public sector banks, the government recorded a net 
surplus of Stg10.008 billion last month, from Stg11.625 billion in 
January of 2016, above the MNI median forecast of a Stg9.0 billion 
     That left net debt, excluding the Bank of England, at 75.9% of 
gross domestic product in January, down from 78.9% a year earlier, the 
lowest since August of 2012. The fall in net debt over recent months 
stems from the transfer of Stg66.5 billion in English Housing 
Association debt to the private sector back in November. 
     Over the year to date, borrowing fell by 16.0% over the same period 
of 2016/17, to Stg37.7 billion, the lowest 10-month total since fiscal 
2007/08. That's a greater decline than the 11.7% fall recorded a month 
     That leaves the Treasury chasing a seemingly-obtainable borrowing 
target of Stg49.9 billion in the 2017/18 fiscal year, which could raise 
political questions about Chancellor Philip Hammond's commitment to 
austerity during a spell of increased public concern about the quality 
of government-provided services. 
     Self-Assessment tax receipts fell to Stg18.4 billion from the 
record-high of Stg19.3 billion a year earlier, the first decline since 
2014, but still the second highest January on record.   
     However, Value Added Tax receipts rose by Stg200 million, a slower 
rise than recorded in previous months, to Stg11.9 billion, but the 
highest-ever for the month of January. 
     The central government net cash requirement hit -Stg27.714 billion 
in January, after reaching -27.859 billion in January of 2017. 
     Including public sector banks, the public sector borrowing swung to 
a surpluse of Stg11.620 billion in January, from Stg13.237 billion a 
year earlier. 
-London bureau: 44 (0) 203 865 3812; email:

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