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Overall figures

There are two main sources for data on how much the public sector is spending on procurement in total across the UK.

The Whole of Government Accounts

The Treasury’s Whole of Government Accounts is possibly the most useful source overall for looking at how much the public sector buys from the private sector. 

The latest data is currently for 2020/21, when £306 billion was spent on procurement.

Procurement normally accounts for about a third of public sector spending, although in 2020/21 the proportion was a little lower, at 29%.

Public Spending Statistics

The Treasury’s Public Spending Statistics and Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses (PESA) give more recent figures but include the procurement of goods and services by one public sector body from another.

According to Public Spending Statistics, gross spending on public sector procurement was £393 billion in 2022/23 across the UK.

There was an increase of £25 billion or 7%, compared with the previous year, 2021/22, not adjusted for inflation. 

Chart showing five years of procurement spending by sector. Overall procurement spending rose in 2022/23, with the biggest increase in defence.

Published budgets suggest procurement spending increasing by around 5% in 2023/24 and around 3% in 2024/25.  Note that these figures are based on government budgets which do not cover the full public sector, unlike the figures quoted above.  They are also not adjusted for inflation.

Other useful sources

Other useful sources include for procurement statistics include:

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