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PUBLIC SECTOR ACCOUNTS 1ST QUARTER 2000

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Information on the public sector in the quarterly national accounts ...
Information on the public sector in the quarterly national accounts

published today, shows that:

In the first quarter of 2000:

- public sector surplus on current budget was£16.8bn

- public sector net borrowing was minus£14.8bn

and at the end of the quarter

- public sector net debt was equivalent to 36.8 per cent of GDP.

BACKGROUND NOTES

1. This First Release extracts data from the national accounts

released today. Figures have mainly been revised back to the start

of 1998 compared to previous publications. Capital consumption

data will be revised back to 1965 for inclusion in September's

Public SectorAccounts First Release. These revisions will be

published electronically on 19 July.

2. The statistics in the 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).

3. The presentation is consistent with the format for public

finances in Budget 2000 (HM Treasury, March 21 2000). The public

sector surplus on current budget is equivalent to net saving in

national accounts plus capital tax receipts. Net investment is

capital expenditure, including net stockbuilding, net acquisition

of land, and payments of investment grants, less sales of capital

assets and capital consumption. Public sector net borrowing is as

defined in national accounts.

4. Data in this First Release are not seasonally adjusted but

seasonally adjusted series are available electronically via the

National Statistics databank.

5. The public sector consists of central government, local

authorities and public corporations. General government comprises

central government and local authorities. Details of which

organisations are in each sector can be found in Sector

Classification for National Accounts (1999).

6. Subject to any data revisions, the general government net

borrowing figures will be consistent with the estimates of

government deficit sent to the European Commission under the

requirements of the Maastricht Treaty. These figures were

published in the Government Deficit and Debt under the Maastricht

Treaty First Release on 29 February 2000.

7. Table PSAT4 refers to financial transactions that determine the

net cash requirement. These fall into two broad groups: the net

acquisition of financial assets, and accruals adjustments. The net

acquisition of financial assets includes transactions undertaken

for policy reasons (rather than to manage liquidity): for example

lending to students and privatisation proceeds. Suchtransactions

are regarded, as determining the public sector's need for funds

rather than financing that need. Accruals adjustments include the

difference between accrued transactions and their cash

counterparts: it includes adjustments for accruing interest as

well as the ESA95 category 'accounts/payable receivable'. This

adjustment is necessary because net borrowing is measured on an

accruals basis whereas the net cash requirement measures cash

flows.

8. Public sector net debt consists of the public sector's

financial liabilities at face value minus its liquid assets -

mainly foreign exchange reserves and bank deposits. Within public

sector net debt, the gross liabilities of general government are

consistent with the definition of General Government Gross debt

reported to the European Commission under the Maastricht Treaty.

9. Further information on the public sector is available on

request. This includes tables equivalent to PSAT4 for each of the

component sectors (central government, local government and public

corporations).

10. Data underlying any of the graphs in the First Release are

available on request.

11. The data in this First Release can be obtained in computer

readable form via the National Statistics 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 Sales Office, National Statistics, B1/06, 1

Drummond Gate, London SW1V 2QQ (telephone 020 -7533 5675).

12. Details of policy governing the release of new data are

available from the National Statistics Press Office, including a

description of the release cateqories featured on the front page

of National Statistics releases.

13. National Statistics are produced to high professional

standards set out in the National Statistics Code of Practice.

They undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they

meet customer needs. They are produced free from any political

interference. - Crown copyright 2000.

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