March 13, 2018 / 12:59 PM / 6 days ago

Hammond trims deficit forecast for coming years

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s government will borrow less by the early years of the next decade than previously forecast, finance minister Philip Hammond said on Tuesday.

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond leaves 11 Downing Street to deliver his half-yearly update on the public finances, in London, March 13, 2018. REUTERS/Toby Melville

The budget deficit forecast for the current 2017/18 fiscal year was cut to 2.2 percent of gross domestic product from a forecast last November of 2.4 percent, Hammond said, citing figures from the independent Office for Budget Responsibility.

For the 2018/19 year, which starts in April, the deficit forecast was cut to 1.8 percent from 1.9 percent in the previous forecast.

Hammond said there would still be an overall budget deficit of 0.9 percent of GDP in 2022/23, although by then Britain would be running a small current budget surplus, meaning it will be borrowing only for capital investment.

Reporting by Andy Bruce; editing by David Stamp

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