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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 2018/19, when £274 billion was spent on procurement – about a third of public sector spending.

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 this source, gross spending on public sector procurement was £357 billion in 2020/21 across the UK.

There was an increase by £53 billion or 17% between 2019/20 and 2020/21 due to the pandemic and the public sector response.   Most of the increase came from increases in health spending, which rose by £43 billion or 44%.

Procurement spending by sector

Published budgets for 2021/22 suggest procurement spending staying at around the higher levels seen in 2020/21.  Note that these figures are based on government budgets which do not cover the full public sector, unlike the figures quoted above.

Other useful sources

Other useful sources include for procurement statistics include:

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