Public sector borrowing: These five charts tell us everything we need to know about the state of the UK's finances

 
Emma Haslett
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TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY AIRA-KATARIINA V
Keeping us in the manner to which we are accustomed: UK debt is alarmingly high (Source: Getty)

Chancellor Philip Hammond got a pleasant surprise from the Office for National Statistics today, after figures showed the UK's public borrowing has actually fallen.

But it's likely this is a temporary respite for the UK's borrowing, which is expected to rise this year. These five charts put today's borrowing figures in perspective:

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1. Public sector borrowing will increase this year, despite October's fall

The Office for Budget Responsibility has forecast that the UK will borrow £55.5bn in 2016, up very slightly from last year's £54.2bn. The orange bar shows how much we've borrowed so far this year - £48.6bn. However, Samuel Tombs, of Pantheon Macroeconomics, has suggested the figure could rise as high as £68.1bn this year.

2. ... and it's still a hefty chunk of GDP

Borrowing has fallen since its peak in 2010, but in 2015/16 we borrowed four per cent of our GDP - that's £76.2bn.

3. Meanwhile, the UK's total net debt is climbing steeply

The amount the UK owes has leaped since 2009 and is now at the highest proportion of GDP ever. This year it's expected to hit £1.64 trillion.

4. Some good-ish news: tax receipts are holding up

This figure is largely made up of tax revenues - although it's worth noting it does get some revenues from other sources.

5. ... But public spending is still higher than receipts

Here's that chart again, but with expenditure in there too. Although expenditure is falling, it's still higher than central government receipts. And given Hammond is expected to announce a boost to spending, including a £1.3bn boost to infrastructure spending, the gap between the two could be about to start increasing again.

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