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UK public-sector borrowing falls more than expected in December 2019

Net borrowing in the U.K. public sector, excluding banks, fell more than expected year over year to £4.8 billion in December 2019 from £5.6 billion in the prior month, the Office for National Statistics reported.

The consensus estimate of economists polled by Econoday was for borrowing to fall to £5.3 billion in the month.

Central government receipts rose 3.7% year over year to £62.2 billion, primarily due to a boost in national insurance contributions. Expenditure climbed 2.7% to £63.9 billion.

Meanwhile, borrowing from April 2019 through December 2019 was up £4.0 billion on an annual basis to £54.6 billion.

Public-sector net debt, excluding banks, climbed £35.5 billion to £1.819 trillion, or 80.8% of GDP, at the end of December 2019.