UK government borrowing fell in January after recording the largest public finances surplus since 2008, according to figures released today from the Office for National Statistics.

Government borrowing for the 2015 tax year, which ends in April, was at £66.5 billion – a decrease of over £10 billion on the same period last year. The January surplus, excluding banks, came in at £11.2 billion compared, an increase of £1 billion, and the monthly borrowing figure, although the highest for eight years, still came in below the £12.6 billion forecast by analysts.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, who has controversially remained committed to austerity measures designed to reign in public spending, tweeted today: “With warnings of weaker economic outlook & challenges for future tax receipts this could bring, we can’t be complacent & think job is done.”

He is due to publish his annual budget plan on March 16.

Strong retail sales

Retail sales volumes also rose in January, showing more consumer confidence, rising The 2.3 percent according to the ONS. This is compared with December when they fell 1.4 percent.

The British Retail Consortium also reported strong consumer sentiment today, with some of the UK’s largest high street chains seeing retail spending growth hit a four-month high in January.

Previous articleApple vs. the FBI: what is at stake for iPhone users?
Next articleHSBC shares drop as profits fall on economic slowdown