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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Government incurred P32.9-billion budget deficit in May

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The government incurred a budget deficit of P32.9 billion in May, a reversal of the P46.3-billion surplus in April, as spending rose 12 percent and revenue collections climbed 13 percent from a year ago, the Treasury said Monday.

Data from the agency showed the budget deficit in May was lower by 2 percent than the P33.4-billion shortfall registered in the same month last year.

“The deficit is slightly lower than last year’s level by 2 percent, as revenue growth narrowly exceeded the acceleration in government spending,” the Treasury said in a statement.

“Compared to program, the year-to-date deficit was 32 percent or P66.3 billion lower than programmed on account of higher revenue collections which exceeded the program by P81.5 billion or 7 percent, outpacing the 1 percent or P15.2 billion increase in spending,” it said.

Fiscal deficit in the first five months climbed 118 percent to P138.7 billion from P63.6 billion a year ago.

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Revenue collections (net of tax refund) increased 13 percent in May to P259 billion from P228.3 billion a year earlier. This brought the five-month tally to P1.186 trillion, up 19 percent over similar collections last year.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue raised P174.7 billion in May for a year-on-year growth of 10 percent. The BIR was able to sustain the double-digit growth in the first five months, leading to a 15-percent increase in January to May collections to P830.5 billion.

Deducting tax refunds resulted in a net collection of P172 billion for May, with year-on-year growth of 8 percent, bringing year- to-date collections and growth to P827.7 billion and 15 percent, respectively.

Customs collections went up 35 percent year-on-year for a total of P53.6 billion for the month. Five-month customs collections grew 31 percent to P230.7 billion from a year ago.

Net of tax refunds, BOC collections hit P52.7 billion in May, up 33 percent year-on-year, while the January to May level reached P229.3 billion, up 31 percent over the same period in the previous year.

“The increase was due to the combined effects of the weaker peso, higher oil price and higher import volumes,” the Treasury said.

Treasury income rose 19 percent in May to P21.4 billion, on higher dividends on shares of stocks held by the government and remittance of shares in Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. and Manila International Airports Authority profits.

Five-month Treasury income grew 22 percent to P58.4 billion.

Meanwhile, government disbursements went up 12 percent in May to P291.9 billion, resulting in a five-month expansion of 25 percent to P1.325 trillion.

Primary expenditure (total disbursements net of interest payment) reached P1.183 trillion in the first five months, up 28 percent year-on-year.

Interest payments amounting to P21.1 billion made up 7.2 percent of total spending.

“Foreign interest payments of P2.5 billion generated the uptick, mainly due to peso depreciation and an increase in rates for outstanding floating rate loans. This was partially offset by lower domestic payments worth P18.6 billion owing to maturities of various fixed rate and retail bonds in 2017,” the agency said.

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