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Public borrowing down to £6.3bn

Public sector borrowing dipped to £6.3bn in April to give the Government breathing space in attempts to slash the deficit.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said underlying public sector net borrowing, excluding financial interventions such as bank bailouts, was down from £8.9bn a year earlier.

The figure was better than the £8.5bn economists forecast and was coupled with a downward revision to the deficit for the last financial year, to £119.5bn from its earlier £120.6bn estimate.

Economists said April's public sector borrowing showed "modest improvement".

IHS Global Insight chief UK economist Howard Archer said: "It looks increasingly likely that Chancellor George Osborne will meet his fiscal targets for 2013-14 and could even beat them."

But the ONS said tax receipts were flat, central government spending increased and local government borrowing rose in April on a year earlier.

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