October 29, 2018 / 4:09 PM / a year ago

Hammond cuts UK budget deficit forecast for coming years

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Elizabeth Truss and other members of the treasury team stand outside 11 Downing Street before the Chancellor delivers his budget statement in the House of Commons in London, Britain, October 29, 2018. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s government will borrow 18.5 billion pounds less by the early years of the next decade than previously forecast, finance minister Philip Hammond said on Monday.

The budget deficit forecast for the current 2018/19 fiscal year was cut to 25.5 billion pounds from a forecast in March of 37.1 billion pounds, Hammond said, citing figures from the independent Office for Budget Responsibility.

For the 2019/20 year, which starts in April, the deficit forecast was cut to 31.8 billion pounds from 33.9 billion pounds in the previous forecast.

By 2022/23 there will be a 20.8 billion pound deficit, compared with 21.4 billion pounds in the previous forecast, Hammond said.

Adding up the forecasts for the years up to 2022/23, they showed 18.5 billion pounds less borrowing than forecast in March.

Reporting by Andy Bruce; editing by David Stamp

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