published today, shows that:
In the first quarter of 2000:
- public sector surplus on current budget was£16.8bn
and at the end of the quarter
- public sector net debt was equivalent to 36.8 per cent of GDP.
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
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
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.