UK government debt and deficit: June 2021

Quarterly estimates of UK government debt and deficit.

This is the latest release. View previous releases

This is an accredited National Statistic. Click for information about types of official statistics.

Cyswllt:
Email Fraser Munro

Dyddiad y datganiad:
27 October 2021

Cyhoeddiad nesaf:
31 January 2021

1. Main points

  • UK general government gross debt was £2,223.0 billion at the end of the financial year ending March 2021, equivalent to 103.6% of gross domestic product (GDP).

  • UK general government deficit (or net borrowing) was £323.9 billion in the financial year ending March 2021, equivalent to 15.1% of GDP.

  • The general government gross debt and deficit figures published here (for 1997 onwards) are fully consistent with those published in the Public sector finances, UK: August 2021 statistical bulletin on 21 September 2021.

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In this release, we present statistics for the general government sector. These are used for international comparisons and include central and local government only. The public sector finances release has a wider scope, adding data for other public sector bodies, such as public corporations and the Bank of England.

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2. Government debt

Latest comparison with the European Union member states

Latest comparison with Group of Seven (G7) member states

An international comparison of general government gross debt as a percentage of GDP can be found in General government debt and deficit as percentage of GDP – Annex A.

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3. Government deficit

Latest comparison with the European Union member states

Latest comparison with Group of Seven (G7) member states

An international comparison of general government deficit as a percentage of GDP can be found in General government debt and deficit as percentage of GDP – Annex A.

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4. UK government debt and deficit data

General government debt and deficit as percentage of GDP: Annex A
Dataset | Released 27 October 2021
International comparison of general government debt and deficit as percentage of GDP.

Government deficit and debt return
Dataset | Released 27 October 2021
Summary, reconciliation and revisions information on UK government deficit and debt figures by calendar and financial year since the last publication.

General government main aggregates: ESA Table 2
Dataset | Released 27 October 2021
Breakdown of general government expenditure (both current and capital) and general government revenue, compiled according to the European System of Accounts.

General government quarterly non-financial accounts: ESA Table 25
Dataset | Released 27 October 2021
Breakdown of general government expenditure (both current and capital) and general government revenue, compiled according to the European System of Accounts.

General government quarterly financial accounts: ESA Table 27
Dataset | Released 27 October 2021
Complete set of quarterly financial accounts of the general government sector and its sub-sectors, compiled according to the European System of Accounts.

General government quarterly debt (Maastricht debt): ESA Table 28
Dataset | Released 27 October 2021
Summary of government debt on a quarterly basis, for general government and its sub-sectors, compiled according to the European System of Accounts.

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5. Glossary

General government

UK general government consists of two sub-sectors: central government and local government.

Debt

Debt represents the cumulative amount the general government sector owes to organisations in other UK sectors and overseas institutions, which is largely a result of government financial liabilities on the bonds (gilts) and Treasury bills it has issued.

Deficit

Deficit (or net borrowing) measures the gap between total revenue and total spending. A positive value indicates borrowing while a negative value indicates a surplus.

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6. Measuring the data

The UK government debt and deficit statistical bulletin is published quarterly in January, April, July and October each year. This is to coincide with when EU member states are required to report on their debt and deficit to the European Commission.

Revisions since previous publication

The revisions between releases are usually the result of improved departmental (and other government bodies) data replacing previous estimates.

Our regular annual updates of data for Network Rail, Pool Re, public sector funded pensions, student loans and capital consumption have also taken place this quarter.

In accordance with our transparency strategy and to provide increased predictability to users, we aim to package together methodological changes so that they occur, where possible, at a single point in the year.

This quarter, we have made several methodological improvements to our estimates. The article Recent and upcoming changes to public sector finance statistics: August 2021 (published 21 September 2021) explains these in detail.

The Government deficit and debt return table presents the revisions to our main aggregates since the last publication of the UK government debt and deficit return (published on 30 July 2021). These revisions are consistent with revisions incorporated within the August 2021 Public sector finances statistical bulletin.

The public sector finances revisions policy provides information on when users of the statistics published in the Public sector finances and UK government debt and deficit statistical bulletins should expect to see methodological and data-related revisions.

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7. Strengths and limitations

Information on strengths, limitations, appropriate uses, and how the data were calculated is available in the Public sector finances QMI.

Comparability with monthly public sector finances

The general government debt and deficit figures published in this statistical bulletin (for the time period 1997 onwards) are fully consistent with those published in the Public sector finances, UK: August 2021 statistical bulletin on 21 September 2021.

There are two main differences between the headline debt and deficit measures published in the public sector finances and those published in this bulletin.

Firstly, this bulletin includes only the debt and deficit of central and local government bodies. The public sector finances' measures also include the debt and deficit of other public sector bodies, including public non-financial corporations and the Bank of England.

Secondly, this bulletin reports gross debt, while the focus of the public sector finances is net debt. Gross debt represents only the financial liabilities (debt securities, loans and deposits) of central and local government, while net debt deducts any liquid assets (official reserve assets and other cash or cash-like assets) from these financial liabilities.

Comparability with gross domestic product (GDP)

GDP at market prices used to calculate government gross debt and deficit as a ratio of GDP are fully consistent with those published in the GDP quarterly national accounts, UK: April to June 2021 on 30 September 2021.

Comparability with EU member states

The general government debt and deficit figures used in the comparison of each of the 27 member states are fully consistent with those published in the Eurostat Government Finance Statistics – quarterly data: 2021 Quarter 2 on 22 October 2021.

Comparability with Group of Seven (G7) member states

The general government debt and deficit figures used in the comparison of G7 member states are fully consistent with those published in the International Monetary Fund's World Economic Outlook on 12 October 2021.

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Manylion cyswllt ar gyfer y Bwletin ystadegol

Fraser Munro
public.sector.inquiries@ons.gov.uk
Ffôn: +44 1633 456402