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Surge in UK debt-to-GDP ratio driven by fall in output - OBR

·1-min read

LONDON (Reuters) - A jump in Britain's debt-to-GDP ratio in April to its highest since 1963 largely reflects the big fall in output that the coronavirus is expected to have caused, rather than last month's record new borrowing, a budget watchdog said.

"This assumed sharp fall in nominal GDP contributed more to the recorded rise in the debt-to-GDP ratio than the rise in cash debt," the Office for Budget Responsibility said, after official figures earlier on Friday showed the debt-to-GDP ratio had spiked to 98% of GDP.

The OBR forecast last week that Britain's budget deficit would hit 15% of GDP in the current financial year, and said Friday's figures for April were too provisional to alter its outlook.

(Reporting by David Milliken; editing by Kate Holton)