Bank of England "clerical error" mis-states gilt purchases by £13bn

Jessica Morris
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The Bank of England said data on the sale of UK government debt had been wrong for the past two months (Source: Getty)

Officials over at the Bank of England have admitted a clerical error meant data on the sale of UK government debt had mis-stated sales to the tune of £13.4bn.

Figures out last week showed foreign investors were ignoring uncertainty surrounding the General Election, despite repeated warnings it could rile the markets, buying a record amount of UK government debt in March.

But a "notice of errata" issued yesterday actually halved the amount of British government debt that had been purchased by foreign buyers, from £28.2bn to £14.8bn.

This means data for February now shows net purchases of £5.8bn, rather than the original £7.6bn in sales.

Nonetheless, the central bank did say that total gilt sales for the first quarter remained unchanged at £14.6bn.

"Due to a clerical error occurring while inputting the February value for non-residents' purchases of gilts, the Bank of England bankstats' publication and statistical interactive database are being revised," it said in a statement yesterday.

"Purchases by UK monetary financial institutions and other UK private sector holders will be updated accordingly."

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