• Govt fiscal deficit in May lower than forecast

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    The national government’s fiscal deficit for the month of May was P13.164 billion, lower than what the Department of Finance (DOF) had forecast.

    In a statement on Thursday, the DOF reported that the deficit was 37 percent lower than the P20.9 billion expected for the month.

    “This brings the year-to-date deficit to P42.8 billion, 31 percent below the P61.9 billion program for the period,” the DOF said.

    From January to May, the deficit was P42.839 billion.

    “The cash operations report so far shows that we continue to be well within our deficit ceilings despite the healthy pace of our expenditures program. Our strong collection performance provides plenty of room for further expansion of our priority programs,” Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said.

    For May alone, revenues totaled P154.039 billion against expenditures of P167.203 billion.

    For the first five months of the year, aggregate revenues reached P708.374 billion, financing P751.213 billion in expenditures.

    The Finance department said May revenues grew 17 percent from the same month last year driven mainly by improved collections from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and dividends remitted to the Bureau of Treasury.

    It said revenues for May totaled P154.039 billion, bringing the five-month total to P708.374 billion,  higher by 10 percent than the  revenues for the same period last year.

    Revenue collections were P111.899, Customs collected P25.925 billion.

    The treasury’s income reached P9.418 billion while collections from other offices amounted to P6.797 billion.

    “Total tax revenues amounted to P632.993 billion, representing 89 percent of total revenues while the remaining 11 percent came from non-tax revenues,” the DOF said.

    Actual disbursements for May amounted to P167.203 billion, a 10.5 percent rise year-on-year.

    Disbursements were P10.7 billion, or 6 percent below the budget.

    Year-on-year, expenditures were up P16 billion or 11 percent for the May.

    Total disbursements for January to May amounted to P751.213 billion, 12.4 percent higher than disbursements in 2012.

    On the other hand, the P138.718 billion in interest payments made up 18 percent of total expenditures, while primary surplus for the first five months amounted to P95.879 billion.

    MAYVELIN U. CARABALLO

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