The Government borrowed more than forecast in May, highlighting risks to the public finances as the cost-of-living crisis threatens to tip Britain into a recession.
Rishi Sunak borrowed another £14bn last month, which was £2bn higher than economists had forecasts.
Debt interest payments hit £7.6bn – the highest for any May on record, according to the ONS.
The surge in debt servicing costs reflects a jump in the retail price index measure of inflation, which hit 11.7pc last month.
5 things to start your day
1) Brussels ‘holding the City to higher standard than communist China’ ‘Odd and wrong’ to deny Square Mile firms access to the single market
2) British car battery champion seeks to woo Elon Musk’s Tesla Plus: Electric car charging to face 10-minute delays amid energy rationing
3) Unilever secretly fought ban on plastic sachets it branded ‘evil’ Company privately lobbied against countries’ efforts to get rid of soap packaging – despite pollution pledge
4) Crypto giant Tether targets UK investors with sterling ‘stablecoin’ The launch of a sterling product should make it easier for British traders to access cryptocurrencies
5) Sir Jim Ratcliffe to bring gas to Europe as bloc scrambles for supplies Chemicals giant Ineos will import as much as 1.4 million tonnes of gas a year
What happened overnight
Hong Kong stocks started with a gain this morning, following the previous day’s hefty losses. The Hang Seng Index climbed 0.7pc.
The Shanghai Composite Index ticked up 0.06pc, while the Shenzhen Composite Index on China’s second exchange added 0.2pc.
Tokyo shares opened higher, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 index rising 0.2pc.
Coming up today
- Corporate: Naked Wines (full-year results); Serco (trading statement)
- Economics: Services PMI (UK, US, EU), manufacturing PMI (UK, US, EU), composite PMI (US, EU), GfK consumer confidence (UK), economic bulletin (EU), jobless claims (US), bank stress test info (US)