This article continues the series of notes begun in the March 1986 Bulletin and last updated in the February 1988 Bulletin (page 83). Compiled with the help of the Central Statistical Office, it has been combined with the long-standing series of articles on the national debt and its distribution, the last of which appeared in the November 1987 Bulletin.
The main points are:
- Market holdings of national debt, and the consolidated debt of the public sector (see appendix for explanation of terms) each rose by £8-10 billion in 1987/88.
- Virtually all the increase was matched by a rise in public sector holdings of liquid assets, especially gold and foreign exchange reserves; net public sector debt was little changed.
- On all these measures, public sector debt declined in relation to GDP.
- A slightly lower proportion of national debt in market hands was in indexed form, reversing the trend of recent years.
- The average life of stocks in market hands fell slightly in the year to March 1988.