Government borrowing fell by £20bn to £52bn in the year to the end of March, according to official data.
That was the lowest level since the financial crisis of 2008, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
In Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Budget last month, the Office for Budget Responsibility had forecast the deficit would be slightly lower at £51.7bn.
The OBR also predicted that government borrowing would rise again this year as tax receipts fall.
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