UK’s Public Debt Goes Over $2.6 Trillion Amid COVID-19 Crisis, Report Suggests

UK’s public sector debt has reached £2.08 trillion ($2.6 trillion) at the end of October, a level not seen since in the last 60 years, as a result of government borrowing to cope with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said on Friday.

“Public sector net debt excluding public sector banks (PSND ex) rose by £276.3 billion [$366,4 billion] in the first seven months of the financial year to reach £2,076.8 billion at the end of October 2020, or around 100.8% of gross domestic product (GDP)”, the official report said.

According to the ONS, debt to GDP ratios in recent months have reached levels last seen in the early 1960s, as the Government has invested billions of pounds in supporting the economy through the pandemic.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had a substantial impact on public sector borrowing, the report added, warning also that the money borrowed by the public sector in the financial year to October could reach £372.2 billion ($493.7 billion) by the end of March, 2021.

British Finance Minister Rishi Sunak said last week the coronavirus-related restrictions taken in the UK to curtail the spread of the disease were likely to have impeded the economic growth that had already begun to slow since the beginning of autumn.

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