UK national debt hits record £2.024 trillion, Report

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UK national debt hits record £2.024 trillion, Report
UK national debt hits record £2.024 trillion, Report

The UK’s national debt hit a record £2.024 trillion at the end of August, £249.5 billion more than the same time last year.

It comes as the government throws billions of pounds at attempts to offset the economic chaos caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows borrowing is now up to 101.9% of gross domestic product (GDP) – a measure of the combined value of all goods and services produced in the UK each year.

Again, continuing July’s trend when borrowing rose higher than GDP for the first time since the early 1960s.

How has the coronavirus crisis hit borrowing?

The figures cast some light on the huge financial costs involved in keeping the economy working through the coronavirus crisis.

Most countries borrow money, even in good times.

Last year in August the country borrowed £5.4 billion.

But the scale of borrowing is at a whole different level right now.

In August, the public sector borrowed more in a single month than at any time since monthly records began in 1993.

But it is still less than many had expected.

Based on the averages of analysts’ predictions, Pantheon Macroeconomics has forecast £38 billion-worth of borrowing in August.

But the figure is unlikely to look much healthier as disruption from the pandemic continues into September and beyond.

On Thursday, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a series of extensions to existing programmes, including a replacement for the furlough scheme which has so far cost the Treasury more than £39 billion.

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