Down from Sept by 52%, from year-ago by 77%
The national government posted a narrower fiscal deficit in October as disbursements continued to grow at a slower pace than the double-digit rise in revenues for the month, the Department of Finance (DOF) said Monday.
Data released by the DOF showed that the government registered a P2.5 billion fiscal deficit in October, down from the P5.2 billion gap in September.
The budget shortfall for the month was also lower by 77 percent than the P11.2 billion posted in the same period last year.
For the 10 months to October, the government’s fiscal performance also posted a lower cumulative deficit of P33.6 billion, or P78.9 billion lower than the level in the same period last year.
Revenue collection improved
In terms of primary budget, the data showed that the government recorded a P14.2 billion primary surplus for October, bringing the cumulative primary surplus to P240.6 billion.
Primary budget figures exclude interest payments on foreign and domestic debt issues recorded during the month as an indicator of the management of expenditures apart from debt servicing. A primary budget surplus indicates that the government collected more revenue than it spent for projects and programs other than debt service.
Total revenue for the month amounted to P152.3 billion, recording 13 percent growth compared to the same month last year.
Year-to-date collections of P1.6 trillion registered a 13 percent increment over comparable 2013 figures.
“This notable improvement in collections has been the fruit of automation of tax processes, a heightened campaign against smugglers and tax evaders, and sustained reforms, especially in the Bureau of Customs,” Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, said.
According to the DOF data, collections by the Bureau of Internal Revenue in October reached P101.8 billion, 7 percent higher than last year’s level, while the Bureau of Customs sustained its monthly double-digit year-on-year growth with a 23 percent increase in actual collections for the month, amounting to P34.2 billion.
Meanwhile, total Bureau of Treasury income contributed the highest year-on-year increase among the national government sources of revenues with a P5.8 billion inflow in October, up by 62 percent from the previous year.
“The sharp increase is largely due to the higher interest income earned on national government deposits with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas,” the Finance agency stated.
Collections from other offices also posted a significant year-on-year growth of 44 percent, with P10.5 billion for the month, it added.
Disbursements grow at slower pace
On the other hand, disbursements by the national government amounted to P154.8 billion in October, 6 percent or P9.2 billion higher over the same period in 2013. Year-to-date expenditures were 6 percent higher year-on-year at P1.6 trillion.Despite being higher for the year-to-date overall compared to 2013, government expenditures declined by 2.9 percent in the third quarter, contributing to the slowing of gross domestic product (GDP) growth to 5.3 percent.
The DOF further reported that interest payments for the month declined by 18 percent year-on-year to P16.8 billion from P20.5 billion in 2013 “mostly due to reduction in domestic payments.”
Total interest payments of P274.2 billion for January to October were lower by P4.4 billion over comparable figures from last year, it added.