The UK is now more than £2trillion in debt

Public sector debt has breached £2 trillion for the first time, as Government borrowing hit £26.7 billion in July, according to new figures.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said borrowing for last month was £28.3 billion more than the same time last year, and the fourth highest since records began in 1993, as the Government throws billions at the economy to try to help it through the Covid-19 pandemic.

Debt hit £2.004 trillion for the first time, and is up around £227.6 billion from a year ago.

Analysts had forecast borrowing would reach £28.6 billion in June, according to a consensus by Pantheon Macroeconomics.

In other data, online sales fell 7% in July compared with June, as more shoppers felt confident returning to the high street, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The ONS added that overall retail sales volumes rose 3.6% in July compared with June and are now 3% above pre-pandemic levels in February. Fuel sales remain low – down 11.7% compared with February – but are recovering as more trips resume, it said.