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UK government borrowing drops to lowest April total in 12 years

Net borrowing in the U.K. public sector, excluding public sector banks, amounted to £5.8 billion in April, down £30 million a year ago, the Office for National Statistics said.

The amount, which is the lowest April borrowing since 2007, came in below the Econoday consensus expectations of £6.0 billion.

Receipts edged up 2.4% year over year to £61.2 billion in April, mainly due to increased revenue from national insurance contributions and income tax.

Central government expenditure increased 2.7% to £66.5 billion owing to a rise in government spending on goods and services, net social benefits and gross capital formation.

Public sector net debt, excluding public sector banks, totaled £1,797.7 billion, or 82.7% of GDP, at the end of April, an increase of £20.5 billion from the year-ago period, but a decline of 1.6 percentage points from a year earlier.

The Office for National Statistics revised the borrowing for the fiscal year ended March 31 to £23.5 billion from the £24.7 billion it estimated in April, the lowest since the fiscal year ended March 2002.

The borrowing was £700 million higher than the Office for Budget Responsibility's March estimate of £22.8 billion.