Regime borrowing has fallen to its lowest annual level in 11 years, according to the fresh official figures.
Borrowing fell by £3.5bn to £42.6bn in the 2017-18 monetary year, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
That was below the opinion of £45.2bn produced by the independent Office for Budget Responsibility last month.
Appropriating narrowed to 2.1% of gross domestic product (GDP) last year, down from 10% in 2010.
To whatever manner, total public debt as a percentage of GDP edged up to 86.3%, up from 85.3% the year preceding. In cash terms it stands at £1.798 trillion.
The figures are the first provisionary estimates of the last financial year. The ONS stressed they would be edited as more data becomes available.
March’s deficit was £1.3bn, well under the sun a forecast for a gap of £3.25bn.
The borrowing figure does not include the amount forth on supporting the state-owned banks.
Mr Hammond has kept the broad aim of the previous chancellor, George Osborne, of lessening the gap between spending and borrowing, although he has eased off on the pace of cut-backs.
Mr Hammond about: “Thanks to the hard work of the British people, borrowing is the lowest in atop of a decade. Our economy is at a turning point with debt starting to settle and people’s wages rising, as we build an economy that truly uses for everyone.”
Analysis by BBC economics editor Kamal Ahmed
Philip Hammond welcomed the information – his target is to eliminate the deficit by the middle of the next decade.
But the chancellor also recognizes that a lower deficit creates its own challenges.
And a test for the type of Member of Parliament he is.
The figures will increase calls for the Treasury to signal a significant augment in public spending at the Autumn Budget – with the NHS in England and Wales the right.
That is something Mr Hammond signalled he would do at the Spring Statement aftermost month, if the deficit was below target.
Which it now is.
But many in the Treasury assume that now is not the time to turn on the spending taps and that the focus should residue on reducing the deficit.
Particularly while the economic headwinds of a sluggish restraint and possible Brexit risk remain.
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But Samuel Burial-chambers, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said the figures did not necessarily make known an improving economy: “Rapidly falling public borrowing continues to end in sharp falls in spending, rather than a reviving economy.
“Tone down borrowing in March than last year primarily reflected a £1.0bn fail in interest payments and a £1.4bn reduction in Local Authority borrowing. Both these loss components are volatile and tell us little about the underlying health of the briefness.”
John Hawksworth, chief economist at PwC, said: “The key challenge facing the chancellor in his Budget in November order be how to trade-off growing political pressures to ease austerity against his salaciousness to get the debt ratio down as far as possible.
“The undershoot in the deficit this year has set the chancellor a little more wriggle room, but it does not alter the prime strategic choice he will need to make in November.”