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Two bits of good news for George Osborne

By Matthew Barrett
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Osborne NewXGeorge Osborne will have a spring in his step: there are two bits of good economic news today. 

The first is that new figures show over half a million new companies have been created under the Coalition. Companies House has released figures today that show 506,030 new companies were incorporated between 16 May 2010 and 31 July 2011. The year to July 2011 showed an 11% increase in company creation on the year before.

The second bit of good news for the Treasury today comes in the form of the public sector borrowing figures for last month. Borrowing was much better than expected: it was £20 million. The figures (pdf here) contrast with the July 2010 borrowing figure of £3.5 billion. The City forecast, at £2.5 billion, had been much closer to the 2010 number, rather than the figure released today.

However, the New Statesman's George Eaton points out:

In this case, higher tax receipts, rather than lower spending, were largely responsible. VAT and corporation tax receipts were higher-than-expected and the new bank levy raised £660m. Local government borrowing also fell due to grants that have not been spent although, as the ONS pointed out, this effect is likely to be temporary.

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