Commenting on the public sector finances for December 2016, released today by the Office for National Statistics, Suren Thiru, Head of Economics at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“The continued, albeit modest, monthly declines in public sector borrowing are encouraging and mean that the government remains on course to meet the OBR’s forecast for 2016/17, as set out in the Autumn Statement.

“The UK’s fiscal position, which was weakened significantly by the financial crisis, is likely to come under increasing pressure in the near-term if UK economic growth weakens as expected. A slowing economy would further restrict the UK’s capacity to collect enough tax revenue to consistently achieve deficit reduction in the coming years.

“More needs to be done to boost business confidence, to help firms to deliver the sort of growth, investment and job creation needed to achieve a sustainable strengthening of the UK’s tax base.”