• Govt trims budget deficit in 2017


    THE national government posted a smaller than programmed budget deficit target last year as expenditures came in below target; while revenue collections exceeded the programmed level, official government data showed on Tuesday.

    Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) data showed that the government posted a budget deficit of P350.6 billion for the full year, which was 27 percent lower than the P482.1 billion target for the year.

    Last year’s deficit was also 1 percent narrower than the previous year’s level of P353.4 billion.

    The 2017 budget deficit is equivalent to 2.2 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), and well within the 3 percent deficit-to-GDP ratio ceiling set for the year.

    Full-year collections reached P2.473 trillion, surpassing the collection target of P2.426 trillion by 2 percent. The revenue collection also reflects an increase of 13 percent for the year, the highest annual growth posted since 2013.

    Meanwhile, full-year expenditures grew 11 percent to P2.823 trillion, about 3 percent below the target. MAYVELIN U. CARABALLO



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