Govt maintains fiscal deficit within range

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The national government recorded a fiscal deficit P8.5 billion in June 2013, according to the Department of Finance (DOF) on Thursday.

The DOF said that the June figure brings the first-half fiscal deficit to P51.3 billion, adding that it remains contained below the programmed deficit of P84.7 billion for 2013. For June, the DOF said that revenues totaled P131 billion against expenditures of P139.5 billion.

For the first six months of the year, aggregate revenues summed up to P839.5 billion, financing P890.7 billion in expenditures.

Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said that the deficit falling within program was an encouraging sign of continued fiscal stability in the national government’s operations.

“It is notable that our deficit still has not exceeded our program range even as expenditure growth outpaced revenues. Our commitment to fiscal sustainability still stands,” Purisima said.

The DOF added that netting out interest payments, the government still operates under a primary surplus amounting to P105.8 billion as of June.

Revenues
The department further said that the national government collected P131 billion in June, up 14 percent from the same month in the previous year.

It said that the increased collection effort for 2013 was led by the Bureau of Internal Revenue, collecting P593.7 billion, a 14-percent year-on-year growth from the previous year.

Meanwhile, revenue collections went up 10 percent over the same six-month period compared to the previous year, with first-half revenues totaling P839.5 billion against last year’s P761 billion.

Expenditures
The DOF also reported that expenditures amounted to P139.5 billion for June, bringing total expenditures for the year to P890.7 billion.

Year-on-year, expenditures were up 10 percent for June, and 12 percent for the first half of 2013. Interest payments, on the other hand, was recorded at P18.4 billion in June, P2.9 billion, or 14 percent below expected levels, the DOF said.

“All-in-all, total interest payments for the half amount to P157.1 billion which is in line with the year-to-date government projection of P164.3 billion,” it said.

Mayvelin U. Caraballo

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