19 January 2001, 12:40  UK December public finances-OVERVIEW and SNAPSHOTS

--UK Dec PSNCR deficit 9.452 bln stlg
--UK Dec PSNCR deficit bigger than market forecasts
--UK Dec PSNB measure deficit 2.712 bln stlg
--Cumulative Apr-Dec UK PSNCR surplus 23.521 bl stlg
--UK Dec central-government surplus 8.939 bln stlg
--Cumulative Apr-Dec UK CGNCR surplus 23.380 bln stlg
--UK Dec current budget surplus -2.229 bln stlg
--Cumulative Apr-Dec UK PSNB surplus 4.092 bln stlg
--UK Dec total govt receipts total 24.244 billion stlg
--UK Apr-Dec total govt receipts up 16.9% on Apr-Dec 1999
--UK Apr-Dec net departmental outlays up 5.2% vs Apr-Dec 1999
By BridgeNews
London--Jan. 19--The U.K.'s public sector net cash requirement measured 9.452 billion sterling in December, slightly above forecasts of a deficit of 8.7 billion sterling but broadly in line with last year's figure of 9.159 billion sterling. The big deficit in the latest month is mostly explained by bi-annual gilt interest payments of about 5 billion sterling. There was a small increase in government outlays but it remains unclear whether it is on course to meet its sizeable spending plans.
Receipts continued to grow strongly.
* * * Public sector net borrowing, which smoothes out the monthly figures, measured 2.712 billion sterling in December, compared with a small surplus of 91 million sterling at the same time last year. But the cumulative figure for the financial year to date (Apr-Dec) is still some way ahead of last year. It is in surplus to the tune of 4.092 billion sterling, compared with a surplus of 2.161 billion sterling in the same period last year.
The cumulative PSNCR was a surplus of 23.521 billion sterling compared with a deficit of 4.088 billion sterling at the same time last year. But the ONS said 22.5 billion sterling of the massive surplus came from the sale of 3G mobile phone licenses and that the underlying cash surplus, stripping out the money, was not a record.
Government receipts in December totaled 24.244 billion sterling, a rise of 4.4% on the same month last year. The cumulative total this year is now 16.9 billion sterling stronger than last year.
Net departmental outlays were 28.178 billion sterling in December, just 2.6% higher than the same month last year. Cumulatively, outlays for the year so far are running just 5.2% above year ago levels, short of the government's plans to increase spending by a total of nearer 6% on the year.
The Treasury still looks comfortably on track to improve on the public finance forecasts published in the November pre-budget report. It predicted net borrowing of minus 8.7 billion sterling and a net cash surplus of 28.1 billion sterling.
The size of its likely surplus will continue to fuel speculation of some form of pre-election giveaway in the spring budget.

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