THE national government has avoided incurring a budget deficit in January and instead posted a surplus even if expenditures exceeded revenues during the month, data released by the Department of Finance (DOF) on Thursday showed.
The government would have incurred a P34.2 billion deficit in January, higher by 75 percent or P14.7 billion than the year-earlier level as it expanded spending for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of various typhoon-hit areas.
However, it wiped out the entire deficit and posted a P22 billion surplus after netting out interest payments as part of the expenditures, according to the data. The January surplus, however, was 37 percent or P13.1 billion lower compared with the surplus in January last year.
Commenting on the latest statistics, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima painted an upbeat outlook on the government’s finances and said it is moving towards achieving its annual revenue targets.
A private economist, however, scored the government for not fully disclosing all the significant factors that accounted for the mismatch in spending and revenue generation in January.