London, the South East and the East of England all had net fiscal surpluses in the financial year ending (FYE) 2019, with all other countries and regions of the UK having net fiscal deficits.
London had the highest net fiscal surplus per head at £4,369 and Northern Ireland had the highest net fiscal deficit per head at £4,978, in FYE 2019.
London raised the most revenue per head, in FYE 2019, at £18,195, while Wales and the North East raised the least revenue per head at £9,409 and £9,533 respectively.
Northern Ireland and Scotland incurred the highest expenditure per head in FYE 2019, at £14,821 and £14,497 respectively, while the lowest expenditure per head was attributed to the East of England and the East Midlands at £11,772 and £11,784 per head respectively.
Between FYE 2011 and FYE 2019, all countries and regions saw an improvement in their net fiscal balance, that is, either a decreasing deficit or an increasing surplus; however, the gap between the net fiscal balances of London and the South East and those of other countries and regions has increased over this period.
What do these statistics tell me?
The aim of the country and regional public sector finances statistics is to provide users with information on what public sector expenditure has occurred, for the benefit of residents or enterprises, in each country or region of the UK and what public sector revenues have been raised in each country or region, as well as the balance between them.
"Public sector" is used in this publication to refer to central government departments and bodies (such as the Department for Work and Pensions), local authorities and other local government bodies (such as police authorities), and public sector-controlled corporations (such as Scottish Water).
Public sector revenue is the total current receipts (mainly taxes, but also social contributions, interest, dividends, gross operating surplus and transfers) received by central government and local government bodies as well as public corporations. It is recorded on an accrued basis, following the national accounts rules.
Public sector expenditure is the total capital and current expenditure (mainly wages and salaries, goods and services, and expenditure on fixed capital, but also subsidies, social benefits and other transfers) of central government and local government bodies as well as public corporations. It is recorded on an accrued basis, following the national accounts rules.
Net fiscal balance is the gap between total spending (current expenditure plus net capital expenditure) and revenue raised (current receipts), which at the UK level is equivalent to public sector net borrowing. A negative net fiscal balance figure represents a surplus, meaning that a country or region is receiving in revenue more than is being spent for the benefit of residents or enterprises in that country or region. A positive net fiscal balance represents a deficit, meaning a country or region is attracting more expenditure for the benefit of its residents or enterprises than it is receiving in revenue.
The country and regional public sector finances statistics are neither reflective of the annual devolved budget settlements nor are these data used when calculating devolved budget settlements. They may not be an accurate representation of public finances should fiscal powers be fully devolved among UK countries and regions. Furthermore, they do not provide information on the spending and revenue of individual country or regional bodies such as the Greater London Authority.
The geographic boundaries used for countries and regions in the UK follows the Nomenclature of Units for Territorial Statistics: NUTS1 definitions. Country and regional public sector finances are Experimental Statistics, but at the UK level they are consistent with the August 2019 public sector finances (PSF) bulletin, which is badged as National Statistics.
What does it mean that these are Experimental Statistics?
Experimental Statistics are statistics that are within their development phase and are published to involve potential users at an early stage in building a high-quality set of statistics that meet user needs.
This is the fourth time that we have published country and regional statistics on public sector revenue and expenditure. Since the first publication in May 2017, we have developed the statistics further. It should be emphasised that an Experimental Statistics label does not mean that the statistics are of low quality, it only signifies that the statistics are novel and still being developed.
Alongside this publication there is a detailed methodology guide, which sets out exactly how each revenue and expenditure item has been apportioned to countries and regions. Users should refer to this methodological information when judging whether their particular use of the statistics is appropriate. Information on quality is contained within the Quality and Methodology Information (QMI) document.
Why are there two measures of net fiscal balance shown?
This bulletin allocates North Sea oil and gas revenues (mainly received from the Petroleum Revenue Tax and Corporation Tax) using two distinct methodologies. The first approach is to allocate the revenue on a geographic basis according to where the oilfields that give rise to the revenue are situated. The second approach to apportioning North Sea oil and gas revenue is to allocate it to all countries and regions based on their populations.
Total North Sea oil and gas revenue in the financial year ending (FYE) 2016 and FYE 2017 was close to zero, therefore the allocations of revenue between geographic and population shares are very similar in these years for all countries and regions. However, in earlier years and more recently, North Sea oil and gas revenue was more significant, with a peak revenue of £10.6 billion in FYE 2009, so when referring to FYE 2018 or FYE 2019, net fiscal balance and total revenue including North Sea revenue will be mentioned on both geographic and population bases.
More information on the methodology used to apportion North Sea oil and gas revenue, and all other revenues and expenditures, can be found in the methodology guide.Back to table of contents
The balance between expenditure and revenue varied across the UK in the financial year ending (FYE) 2019. The North West had the highest net fiscal deficit of £20.3 billion on a geographic basis or 0.93% of gross domestic product (GDP) (£20.1 billion on a population basis or 0.94% of GDP). In contrast, London had the highest surplus of £38.8 billion on a geographic basis (£38.9 billion on a population basis) or 1.8% of GDP. This pattern of net fiscal balances is broadly similar to those observed in FYE 2018.
Between the financial years ending (FYE) 2018 and 2019, the net fiscal deficit of the UK fell by £15.1 billion, but the extent of this change varied across the UK. 10 of the 12 Nomenclature of Units for Territorial Statistics: NUTS1 regions saw an improvement in their net fiscal balance in the same period, meaning a decreased deficit or an increased surplus. The exceptions were the West Midlands and the North East, which saw an increase in their net fiscal deficit.
The greatest improvements in net fiscal balance were seen in London and the South East, where the net fiscal surpluses increased by £5.7 billion and £3.5 billion respectively between FYE 2018 and FYE 2019. The smallest improvement occurred in Northern Ireland, where the net fiscal deficit fell by £0.3 billion. In contrast, the West Midlands and the North East saw an increase in their net fiscal deficits of £1.9 billion and £0.5 billion, respectively.
The improvement in net fiscal balances was largely driven by an increase in total public sector revenue of £34.1 billion, from £777.2 billion (37.25% of GDP) in FYE 2018 to £811.3 billion (37.51% of GDP) in FYE 2019. This increase was mainly a result of greater revenue from Income Tax, Value Added Tax, National Insurance contributions and Onshore Corporation Tax. All NUTS1 regions saw a rise in revenue between FYE 2018 and FYE 2019, but the largest increase occurred in London, at £7.1 billion, or an additional £671 per head on a geographic basis (£669 per head on a population basis).
Total expenditure of the UK increased by £19.0 billion, from £833.7 billion (39.96% of GDP) in FYE 2018 to £852.7 billion in FYE 2019 (39.43% of GDP). However, this equated to a fall of 0.53% of GDP in total expenditure, but still a slight increase in expenditure per head (£230 per head).
The largest amount of expenditure in FYE 2019 occurred in London, at approximately £123.2 billion, which equates to £12,835 per head, or 14.4% of the total. Northern Ireland had the lowest spend in FYE 2019 at approximately £27.9 billion, but the highest spend per head (£14,821 per head). All regions saw an increase in their total expenditure between FYE 2018 and FYE 2019, with the greatest increase in the West Midlands of £4.4 billion, or £739 per head, whereas the smallest increase occurred in Wales of £0.6 billion, or £189 per head. However, the lowest per head increase occurred in London at £149 per head, or £1.3 billion overall.
Figure 1: Interactive map of country and regional public sector finances main aggregates
Figure 2 shows the net fiscal balances calculated on a geographic and population basis for the NUTS1 countries and regions. In financial year ending 2019, the largest net fiscal surplus was in London at £38.8 billion on a geographic basis and £38.9 billion on a population basis. The largest net fiscal deficit was in North West, £20.3 billion on a geographic basis and £20.1 billion on a population basis.
Table 1 shows the net fiscal balance of each country and region in £ billions and as a percentage of GDP. The largest surplus increase was in London, which saw a rise from £33.0 billion on a geographic basis (£33.2 billion on a population basis) in FYE 2018 to £38.8 billion on a geographic basis (£38.9 billion on a population basis) in FYE 2019. The largest deficit increase was in the West Midlands, which saw a rise from £13.1 billion on a geographic basis (£12.9 billion on a population basis) in FYE 2018 to £15.0 billion on a geographic basis (£14.9 billion on a population basis) in FYE 2019.
|Net Fiscal Balance¹ (£ million)|
|North Sea revenue geographic share||% of GDP²|
|Yorkshire and the Humber||12,486||11,982||11,453||0.62%||0.57%||0.53%|
|East of England||-3,426||-2,832||-4,099||-0.17%||-0.14%||-0.19%|
|North Sea revenue population share||% of GDP|
|Yorkshire and the Humber||12,464||11,943||11,302||0.62%||0.57%||0.52%|
|East of England||-3,434||-2,937||-4,223||-0.17%||-0.14%||-0.20%|
Download this table Table 1: Net Fiscal Balance from FYE 2017 to FYE 2019, by NUTS1 countries and regions.xls .csv
As the number of people in a particular country or region can affect the amount of revenue raised in that area or the amount of expenditure needed to benefit the residents and enterprises, the main aggregates in this publication are also presented on a per head basis.
Table 2 shows the net fiscal balance per head of the NUTS1 countries and regions from FYE 2017 to the FYE 2019.
|Net Fiscal Balance per head (£)¹ ²|
|North Sea revenue geographic share||North Sea revenue population share|
|Yorkshire and the Humber||2,299||2,196||2,090||2,295||2,188||2,063|
|East of England||-558||-459||-661||-559||-476||-681|
Download this table Table 2: Net Fiscal Balance per head from FYE 2017 to FYE 2019, by NUTS1 countries and regions.xls .csv
Northern Ireland had the highest net fiscal deficit per head, while London had the highest net fiscal surplus per head, in FYE 2019. The UK as a whole has had a net fiscal deficit since FYE 2002. However, this varies between countries and regions. Some countries and regions have had a net fiscal deficit for the full duration of the period presented in these statistics, which is since FYE 2000. The North East, North West, Yorkshire and the Humber, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have all run net fiscal deficits each year since FYE 2000. Other regions, such as East Midlands, East of England and South West had net fiscal surpluses in the early period, while London and the South East have maintained net fiscal surpluses for the full period except in FYE 2010.
Most of the 12 Nomenclature of Units for Territorial Statistics: NUTS1 regions saw an improvement in their net fiscal balances between financial year ending (FYE) 2018 and FYE 2019, meaning a decreased deficit or an increased surplus, with the exceptions of the West Midlands and the North East. The largest changes occurred in London and the South East, which saw an increase in their net fiscal surpluses of £5.7 billion and £3.5 billion, respectively, while the West Midlands saw its net fiscal deficit increase by £1.9 billion.
The net fiscal surpluses of London and the South East have been increasing at a greater rate than those of the other NUTS1 regions, since FYE 2011, resulting in the net fiscal balance gap between London and the South East and other countries and regions widening. This is also true when looking at net fiscal balance per head.
Figure 3 shows the average year-on-year change since FYE 2011 on both bases of calculating net fiscal balance. The average year-on-year change in London was an increase in its net fiscal surplus of £4.7 billion on a geographic basis and £4.6 billion on a population basis. The smallest average year-on-year change was in Northern Ireland, which experienced only a £0.1 billion reduction of its net fiscal deficit over this period.
The change in net fiscal balances between FYE 2018 and FYE 2019 was driven by a larger increase in total revenue than in expenditure in NUTS1 regions, except for the West Midlands and the North East which had a higher increase in their expenditure. However, the increase in revenue in London was larger than the increases in revenues in other NUTS1 regions. The changes in revenue are further explored in Section 5.Back to table of contents
During the financial year ending (FYE) 2019, total public sector revenue raised in the UK was £811.3 billion (£12,213 per head), representing an increase of £34.1 billion (£461 per head), from FYE 2018.
Most revenue was raised in London (£161.9 billion on a geographic basis and 162.1 on a population basis) and the South East (£131.0 billion on a geographic basis and £131.2 billion on a population basis). This is equivalent to £18,177 per head on a geographic basis (£18,195 per head on a population basis) and £14,341 per head on a geographic basis (£14,360 per head on a population basis), respectively.
On average, London, the South East and the East of England have raised more revenue per head than the UK overall, for the time period presented in these statistics (FYE 2000 to FYE 2019). Scotland falls into this category when North Sea revenue is included on a geographic basis. Figure 4 shows the average of the differences between UK revenue per head figure and the revenue per head figure for each country and region for the financial years ending 2000 and 2019.
All of the 12 Nomenclature of Units for Territorial Statistics: NUTS1 regions have also seen an increase in revenue not only in this financial year but also since FYE 2011. Of the £34.1 billion increase in revenue in FYE 2019, £7.0 billion was raised in London and £5.6 billion in the South East. The smallest increase was in Northern Ireland (£0.8 billion on a population basis) or in the North East (£0.7 billion on a geographic basis), depending on how North Sea revenue was allocated.
Figure 5 shows how much each NUTS1 regions contributed to the overall revenue increase in the UK, in FYE 2019.
The increase in revenue in all NUTS1 regions, and therefore the UK, was mainly driven by growth in Income Tax, Value Added Tax (VAT), National Insurance contributions (NICs) and Onshore Corporation Tax.
Between FYE 2018 and FYE 2019, Income Tax increased by £11.9 billion, equating to 0.55% of GDP, and VAT increased by £8.7 billion, equivalent to 0.40% of GDP. Both Income Tax and VAT grew above the average annual growth of 0.29% GDP and 0.26% GDP in the preceding five years, respectively.
NICs increased by £5.7 billion between FYE 2018 and FYE 2019, equating to 0.26% of GDP, which compares with an average annual growth of 0.27% of GDP in the preceding five years.
For most regions these three taxes and NICs raised the most revenue, usually making up 55% to 70% of total revenue raised in each region. This composition has been stable over the time period reported in these statistics (from FYE 2000), however, some country and regional variation exists. For example, in FYE 2019 for London, 30% of its revenue was raised from Income Tax, 14% from VAT and 11% from Onshore Corporation Tax. However, most other countries and regions raised a lower proportion from Income Tax and Corporation Tax, but a greater proportion from VAT.
Figure 6 shows the composition of revenue in each country and region for the FYE 2019.
London (£98.6 billion), the South East (£81.3 billion), the East of England (£48.2 billion), the North West (£43.9 billion) are the top five regions where most Income Tax, VAT and NICs are generally raised. However, the NUTS1 regions that raised the highest per head amount of Income Tax, VAT and NICs in FYE 2019 were London (£11,067), the South East (£8,906), the East of England (£7,779), Scotland (£6,678) and the South West (£6,425).
Over time, the revenue of most countries and regions as a percentage of GDP has been fairly stable. At the UK level, it has remained between 34.42% and 37.51% of GDP for the full duration presented in these statistics. Table 3 shows revenue raised in each country and region over the last three years, as a percentage of GDP, presented alongside revenue raised per head.
|Total public sector revenue, incl. North Sea revenue geographic basis|
|Revenue as % of GDP||Revenue per head¹ (£)|
|Yorkshire and the Humber||2.60%||2.58%||2.58%||9,668||9,880||10,188|
|East of England||3.57%||3.54%||3.56%||11,747||11,957||12,433|
|Total public sector revenue, incl. North Sea revenue population basis|
|Revenue as % of GDP||Revenue per head¹ (£)|
|Yorkshire and the Humber||2.60%||2.59%||2.59%||9,672||9,887||10,216|
|East of England||3.57%||3.54%||3.57%||11,748||11,974||12,453|
Download this table Table 3: Total public sector revenue as a percentage of UK gross domestic product and per head, FYE 2017 to FYE 2019, by NUTS1 countries and regions.xls .csv
In the financial year ending (FYE) 2019, total public sector expenditure at the UK level was £852.7 billion, or £12,835 per head. The Nomenclature of Units for Territorial Statistics: NUTS1 region incurring the most expenditure for the benefit of residents and enterprises was London, at approximately £123.2 billion, which equates to £13,826 per head, or approximately 14% of the UK total.
On average, for the full duration of the statistics presented in this publication, spending per head each year in Northern Ireland; Scotland; Wales; London; the North West; and the North East has been above the UK average. Figure 7 shows how much each NUTS1 region has spent per head, compared with the UK on average, between FYE 2000 and FYE 2019.
Table 4 shows how much of this expenditure occurred for the benefit of residents and enterprises in each country and region in the UK from FYE 2017 to FYE 2019.
|Total public sector expenditure|
|Total public sector expenditure |
|Per head (£)¹|
|Country or region||2016/17||2017/18||2018/19||2016/17||2017/18||2018/19|
|Yorkshire and The Humber||65,000||65,903||67,281||11,967||12,076||12,278|
|East of England||68,686||71,020||73,003||11,189||11,498||11,772|
Download this table Table 4: Total public sector expenditure from FYE 2017 to FYE 2019, by NUTS1 countries and regions.xls .csv
Between FYE 2018 and FYE 2019, total expenditure increased from £833.7 billion to £852.7 billion, however, this equated to a fall of 0.53 percentage points of gross domestic product (GDP). Between FYE 2010 and FYE 2019, total UK public sector expenditure has fallen by 6.35 percentage points of GDP. London has seen the largest drop in expenditure, while all other NUTS1 regions have seen smaller falls in expenditure as percentages of GDP.
|Total public sector expenditure as % of GDP¹|
|Country or region||2014/15||2015/16||2016/17||2017/18||2018/19|
|Yorkshire and The Humber||3.37%||3.31%||3.22%||3.16%||3.11%|
|East of England||3.57%||3.50%||3.40%||3.40%||3.38%|
Download this table Table 5: Total public sector expenditure as a percentage of UK gross domestic product from financial year ending (FYE) 2015 to FYE 2019, by NUTS1 countries and regions.xls .csv
For all regions and for the full duration of the statistics presented in this publication, social protection (mainly expenditure on pensions, but also on social benefits) has been the largest category of spending, followed by health and education.
Back to table of contents
Datasets supporting this publication are available in the appendices to the bulletin:
Country and regional public sector finances net fiscal balance tables
Public sector net fiscal balance for each country and region of the UK.
Country and regional public sector finances revenue tables
Public sector revenue for each country and region of the UK.
Country and regional public sector finances expenditure tables
Public sector expenditure for each country and region of the UK.
Country and regional public sector finances net fiscal balance revisions tables
Revisions to net fiscal balance revisions for each country and region of the UK.
Country and regional public sector finances supplementary tables
Supplementary data accompanying the country and regional public sector finances, including public sector net fiscal balance, revenue and expenditure per-head; accounting adjustments; and population and GDP data used in this publication.
Country and regional public sector finances revenue proportions
Country and regional proportions for revenue items.
In addition to the timing of this publication, a number of data and methodological changes have been made since the last publication, giving rise to revisions in the data when compared with last year's estimates. This section presents the revisions to net fiscal balance for each country and region and provides a brief explanation for these revisions.
This is the fourth country and regional public sector finances publication, following the first release published in May 2017. We have moved our regular publication date to Winter and will continue to publish in December or January each year. This new timeframe reduces the lag of these statistics from 14 months to 9 months after the end of the financial year.
Changes to the monthly public sector finances
Since May 2019, routine data source updates, quality improvements and methodological changes have revised the underlying UK public sector finances (PSF) data that this bulletin is based on. Not all of these changes affect the country and regional public sector finances. Only those that affect UK public sector net borrowing also have an impact on the country and regional public sector finances. These changes include the following.
Blue Book 2019 changes
Through the annual Blue Book process, a number of data and methodological changes were taken on in the August 2019 PSF release.
New consumption of fixed data capital data taken on in the August 2019 PSF release as a result of ongoing work to improve the Perpetual Inventory Method (PIM), with no impact on public sector net borrowing but changing public sector current budget deficit.
Public sector employment-related pension schemes
Changes to the treatment of funded pension schemes were implemented in the August 2019 PSF release.
The new statistical treatment of student loans was introduced in the August 2019 PSF release, giving rise to revisions to interest received and capital expenditure.
Value Added Tax (VAT) refunds data
Updated source data following a review of the recording of Value Added Tax (VAT) refunds data were first introduced in the September 2018 PSF release affecting only FYE 2018, and fully implemented in the August 2019 PSF release affecting data from FYE 2000 onwards, but with no impact on public sector net borrowing.
Reclassification of Companies House and reclassification of HM Land Registry
Introduced in the August 2019 PSF release after the classification decision in October 2018.
Routine data source updates
Revisions occur to the monthly PSF as a result of provisional estimates being replaced by final data.
Changes introduced from UK public sector finances
In this publication, we have also introduced some changes that had been implemented in the UK public sector finances previously but hadn't been introduced in the country and regional public sector finances because they only affected the data from the FYE 2018 onwards:
Soft Drinks Industry Levy: the revenue from this levy was recorded in the April 2018 PSF release
Welsh devolved taxes: the Land Transaction Tax and Landfill Disposals Tax, collected in Wales since April 2018, were introduced in the April 2018 PSF release
Reclassification of devolved Housing Associations: the reclassification of the Welsh Housing Associations was implemented in the June 2018 PSF release after the classification decisions on 13 June 2018; the reclassification of the Scottish Housing Associations was implemented in the September 2018 PSF release after the classification decision on 19 September 2018
Changes to methods for allocating revenue or expenditure to countries and regions
This year we have taken the opportunity to improve several apportionment methods that allocate UK data to the countries and regions. These improvements have been made to better reflect the incidence of taxes; or to account for differences between total expenditure on services and total managed expenditure by introducing new accounting adjustments; or to improve business processes.
Air Passenger Duty (APD)
We have changed our approach to APD apportionment. Revenue is now allocated to countries and regions according to the location of the airports at which passengers begin their journeys. We have also improved our use of data from the Civil Aviation Authority's (CAA) departing passenger survey to more accurately assess the destination bands that passengers should be assigned to and the influence that each airport has on final estimates.
UK Income Tax revenues from our public sector finances statistics are apportioned to regions based on the total estimated Income Tax liabilities of residents in each region, but for Scotland, from financial year ending (FYE) 2017 onwards, the share of UK income tax was obtained from HMRC's Scottish Income Tax Outturn statistics.
Aggregates Levy revenues are apportioned to regions using the total tonnage of crushed rock, sand and gravel produced in each region. Because the UKMY (our source for the data used for apportionment) had ceased when the Annual Minerals Raised Inquiry (AMRI) came to an end in early 2016, we had not updated the indicator data since 2017. The UKMY was published again in 2019 with data up to 2017 using alternative data sources, so we were now able to update our estimates.
Some revisions have resulted in our data through improving our business processes for producing these statistics. These revisions are generally quite small.
We have introduced new accounting adjustments to incorporate some of the UK PSF changes into our expenditure data, as they are not yet included in HM Treasury's (HMT's) Country and regional analysis.
|Year (£ million)||UK ² ³||North |
|East Midlands||West Midlands||East of |
|Year (£ million)||London||South |
Download this table Table 6a: Revisions to public sector net fiscal balance¹ (geographic basis), financial year ending 2000 to financial year ending 2018, by NUTS1 countries and regions.xls .csv
|Year (£ million)||UK ² ³||North |
|East Midlands||West Midlands||East of |
|Year (£ million)||London||South |
Download this table Table 6b: Revisions to public sector net fiscal balance¹ (population basis), financial year ending (FYE) 2000 to financial year ending (FYE) 2018, by NUTS1 countries and regions.xls .csv
In July 2018, the Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) announced a review into the public value of statistics on public finances in a devolved UK. The review researched existing published devolved public finance statistics, including the country and regional public sector finances, and engaged with statisticians and users of these statistics to assess relevance, transparency and coherence of the statistics. OSR published their findings and recommendations on 24 May 2019. The review suggested that ONS produces useful and plentiful data on devolved public finances, though suggested there was an opportunity to work with those within countries and regions who can provide additional local context to the statistics and so develop more compelling narratives. We will incorporate findings of the report into our future work plans and continue to collaborate with devolved nations and other producers of similar statistics to find ways to further improve the communication of our statistics.Back to table of contents
As described at the start of this publication, Experimental Statistics are statistics still under development, as such, we welcome and encourage user feedback about how they used these statistics; what they have found useful; and what they would potentially like to see in the future.
Areas of development and improvement we plan to focus on over the next year include, but are not limited to:
improving methods and data sources to refine allocation of UK revenue or expenditure to the NUTS1 regions, while also working to further align methods with those used by HMRC and Scottish Government in their publications
working with colleagues in devolved administrations, HMRC, Office for Budget Responsibility and the Scottish Funding Council to align and improve methodologies of those taxes due to be devolved
investigating extending the current presentation to include expenditure by type (for examples, pay, goods and services) and not just function, as well as producing sectoral breakdowns (for example, central government, local government, public corporations)
investigating the feasibility of introducing work-placed estimates for some revenues to complement the residential-based estimates currently produced
working towards achieving National Statistics accreditation
More quality and methodology information on strengths, limitations, appropriate uses, and how the data were created is available in the Country and regional public sector finances QMI.
The country and regional public sector finances methodology guide provides comprehensive contextual and methodological information concerning this statistical bulletin. the methodology guide describes the data and methods used to attribute revenue and expenditure to countries and regions. It also compares the method used with that followed in other publications (see Section 9 "Links to related statistics") and highlights any potential weaknesses in the data and/or methodology.
What is the relationship between these statistics and those of the UK public sector finances?
The UK public sector finances (PSF) bulletin is a monthly publication jointly produced by Office for National Statistics (ONS) and HM Treasury. By contrast this is an annual publication produced solely by ONS. However, the two publications are closely linked as the UK totals published in the monthly PSF bulletin form the UK expenditure and revenue totals that must be apportioned to the NUTS1 country and regions of the UK. The total UK expenditure and revenue in this publication match those in the February 2019 PSF bulletin.
At the UK level the equivalent of the net fiscal balance is termed public sector net borrowing excluding public sector banks (PSNB ex). A positive PSNB ex (and positive net fiscal balance) indicates a deficit, whereas negative values indicate a surplus. The net fiscal balance is not to be interpreted as the actual borrowing of a country or region; it is instead a statistical construct indicative of the difference between the revenue raised from residents and enterprises in a region and the public sector expenditure from which those residents and corporations benefit.
Are our figures adjusted for inflation?
All monetary values in the PSF bulletin are expressed in "current prices‟, that is, they represent the price in the period to which the expenditure or revenue relates and are not adjusted for inflation.
To compare data over long time periods commentators often discuss changes over time to fiscal aggregates in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) ratios. GDP represents the value of all the goods and services currently produced by an economy in a period of time.
As far as possible, the data are comparable across countries and regions but certain items necessarily have different data sources for country-level data and English regional data. This is explained in the relevant sections of the methodology guide.Back to table of contents
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