UK public sector debt overshoots

UK public sector debt overshoots

LONDON - The Associated Press

U.K. public sector borrowing rose more than expected in June, to 14.4 billion pounds ($22.6 billion), according to official data released July 20 that raise doubts over the government’s ability to meet its deficit targets.

The disappointing news came a day after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said the government may have to ease up on its deficit-cutting program if the economy does not return to strong growth.

The Office for National Statistics said borrowing was 500 million pounds more than in the same month a year earlier, while the market expected it to be 500 million pounds less.

Spending on social benefits such as unemployment rose by 3 percent in the period, while income tax collections were a bit lower, the statistics agency said.