1. This release gives provisional estimates ofthe public sector components in national accounts. The final figures will be given in the First Release Public Sector Accounts which will be published on 29 July 1999 along with the rest of the quarterly national accounts.
2. The statistics in this First Release are published in accordance with the European System of Accounts 1995 (ESA95). This is the system used for UK national accounts. Presentations of public sector finances on an ESA95 basis also appear in Financial Statistics and the monthly Public Sector Finances First Release. Further information can be found in Monthly Statistics on Public Sector Finances: a Methodological Guide, no 12 in the Government Statistical Service methodology series (price£5).
of capital assets and capital consumption. General government net borrowing is similar to the general government financial deficit under the old system of UK national accounts.
4. Data are not seasonally adjusted but seasonally adjusted series will be available electronically via the ONS databank service after the publication of final figures on 29 July l 999.
5. The public sector consists of central government, local authorities and public corporations. General government is central government and local authorities. Details of which organisations are in each sector can be found in Sector Classification for National Accounts ( 1998).
6. Some adjustments are needed to make ESA95 net borrowing consistent with the ESA79 rules for submitting estimates of government deficit and debt to the European Commission underthe requirements of the Maastricht Treaty. The latest figures were published in ONS(99)75- Government Deficit and Debt under the Maastricht Treaty. Returns submitted to the European Commission will continue on an ESA79 basis
until February 2000 when the deficit and debt returns will be required on an ESA95 basis for the first time, and will then be consistent with UK National Accounts. The main differences between the general government net borrowing on an ESA95 basis (reported in this First Release) and on an ESA79 basis are the treatment of interest on gilts and national savings, and finance leases.
7. Data underlying any of the graphs in the First Release are available on request from the ONS.
8. The data in this First Release can be obtained in computer readable form via the ONS Databank service which provides macro-economic time series data on magnetic tape or disk. Details of the service offered and the Schedule of Charges may be obtained from: The ONS Sales Office, Office for National Statistics, B 1/06, 1 Drummond Gate, London SWlV 2QQ (telephone 0171-533 5675).
Provisional Public Sector Accounts: Q1 1999
This is the second time this release has been published (the first in Feb 1999). It provides an early view of the public sector accounts usually one month before the main national accounts are published (but two months before this quarter due to the Blue Book).
This is the first time the surplus on current budget has been published for 99q 1 (and financial year 98-99). It is provisionally£10.7bn for 99ql (£10.2 bn for financial year 98-99) compared with£8.3bn for 98q1 (-£2.2bn (a deficit) for financial year 97-98).
Public sector net borrowing has improved between 97-98 and 98-99. In 97-98 it was£7.1bn but in 98-99 it was -£5.9bn. This means that current receipts in 98-99 were£5.9bn higher than expenditure (including net investment and depreciation).
Public sector net debt has decreased by£5bn between 97-98 and 98-99.
Current receipts and current expenditure have both risen in 98-99 compared to 97-98, receipts by£20.9bn to£336.2bn and expenditure by£8bn to£312.5bn.