UK government borrowing falls slightly in May
Government borrowing fell slightly in May compared with the same month a year ago, according to official figures, but it was still higher than expected.
The Office for National Statistics said borrowing, excluding support for state-owned banks, was £9.7bn in May, down £0.4bn from the same month last year.
Economists had forecast a lower figure of £9.5bn for May.
The ONS also revised down its estimate of the amount borrowed in the financial year to March to £74.9bn.
But for the financial year so far, borrowing has reached £17.9bn, £0.2bn higher than the same period a year ago.
The ONS said that total public sector net debt - excluding banks - by the end of May stood at £1.606 trillion, the equivalent of 83.7% of gross domestic product (GDP).
The ONS says annual borrowing has been falling in general since the peak reached in the 2009-10 financial year.
The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), which produces economic forecasts for the government, has estimated that the public sector will borrow £55.5bn during the financial year to March 2017; a reduction of about £20bn for the previous financial year.