The U.K. government's budget deficit, excluding borrowing by public-sector banks, fell to £37.7 billion from April 2017 to January, down £7.2 billion compared to the same period of the preceding fiscal year and the lowest figure for the period since January 2008, the Office for National Statistics said.
Excluding public-sector banks, public-sector net debt reached £1.737 trillion at the end of January, equivalent to 84.1% of GDP and £55.7 billion higher than the year-ago period.
In January, the public sector ran a surplus, excluding borrowing by public-sector banks, of £10.0 billion, down by £1.6 billion from a year earlier. January is traditionally a month in which the public sector spends less than it receives in income.
The Office for Budget Responsibility maintained its forecast for net borrowing of £49.9 billion for the financial year ending March, though the projection many be revised in the March 13 release.