UK government debt exceeds 2 trillion pounds amid coronavirus pandemic

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British economy
image source: 3wge.com

The British government debt has exceeded 2 trillion pounds (about 2.62 trillion U.S. dollars), or 100.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) amid heavy spending during the coronavirus pandemic, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said on Friday.

Public sector net debt hit 2.004 trillion pounds in July, 227.6 billion pounds (about 298.37 billion dollars) more than at the same point last year. It is the first time it has been above 100 percent of GDP since the financial year ending March 1961, the ONS said.

It said the coronavirus pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on borrowing. Provisional estimates indicate that 150.5 billion pounds (197.34 billion dollars) were borrowed in the first four months of the current financial year, referring to April to July, almost three times the amount borrowed in the whole of the latest full financial year ending in March 2020.

The ONS said the extra funding required to support the government’s coronavirus relief schemes combined with reduced cash receipts and a fall in GDP has pushed public net debt to the highest debt to GDP ratio in decades. Enditem

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