March 20, 2020 / 9:39 AM / 18 days ago

UK corporation tax receipts wane ahead of coronavirus crisis: ONS

LONDON, March 20 (Reuters) - British corporation tax receipts posted their biggest drop for any February since 2012, before the coronavirus outbreak began to seriously harm the economy, official data showed on Friday.

Britain’s government said it received 4.7 billion pounds of corporation tax revenue in February, down 5.4% compared with a year ago, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

The figures chimed with other data that suggest Britain’s economy stalled at the start of 2020, despite an improvement in confidence among businesses and consumers in the wake of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s landslide victory in December.

Over the first 11 months of the financial year, April to February, corpoation tax revenues were down 4.1% compared with a year ago.

The data suggest that Britain’s business economy had already lost some momentum before the unprecedented impact of the coronavirus outbreak, which threatens hardship for businesses and workers across the land.

The ONS said overall government borrowing excluding public sector-owned banks in February alone fell to 331 million pounds from 583 million pounds a year earlier. A Reuters poll of economists had pointed to borrowing of 800 million pounds.

Finance minister Rishi Sunak is due to announce more measures to fight the economic impact of the coronavirus on Friday.

Reporting by Andy Bruce

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