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UK public sector borrowing higher than expected

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January 22, 2013 05:20 AM EST | AP


LONDON — U.K. public sector borrowing was higher than expected in December, another setback in the government's plans to reduce its deficit.

The Office for National Statistics said Tuesday that net public sector borrowing was 15.4 billion pounds in December, compared with 14.8 billion pounds a year earlier and 200 million pounds above the market consensus.

It was the sixth consecutive month in which borrowing was above previous-year levels.

Martin Beck, an analyst at Capital Economics, says borrowing for the fiscal year ending in March would be about 7 percent higher than the previous year if the trend continues.