Public sector borrowing in the U.K. rose during the second month of the year to the highest level for February since records began, raising concerns about the budget set to be unveiled this week, according to The Daily Telegraph. On Tuesday, the Office for National Statistics reported that net public sector borrowing reached £10.3 billion in February, which is up from £8.12 one year earlier and far exceeded forecasts from economists for total of £8 billion. Borrowing excluding the financial sector reached £11.8 billion, and both figures were record highs for the month of February.
The data brings the year-to-date total for government borrowing to £123.5 billion, compared to £136.6 billion this time last year, and leaves a good margin to the £148.5 billion projection for the fiscal year ending at the end of March. According to The Wall Street Journal, the Confederation of British Industry reported that the U.K. industrial output balance rose to +27 in March from +23 the month prior, marking that highest level since February 2007 and indicating that a larger portion of firms are expecting an increase in output over the coming quarter.