Government incurred P2.6-b deficit in August as spending rose

The government incurred a fiscal deficit of P2.6 billion in August, as expenditures jumped 29 percent, exceeding the revenue growth of 11 percent, the Bureau of the Treasury said Monday.

The August deficit was a reversal of the P28.8-billion surplus posted in the same month last year. This brought the fiscal deficit in the first eight months to P282 billion, up 60 percent from the P176.2-billion shortfall a year ago.

Revenue collection rose 11 percent in August to P256.9 billion, bringing the eight-month tally to P1.909 trillion, or 19 percent higher than in the same period last year. 

The Treasury said 67 percent of the P2.846-trillion full-year revenue program was collected as of end-August.

Collection by the Bureau of Internal Revenue rose 8 percent to P185.1 billion in August, with the growth decelerating from the double-digit expansion in July. Total BIR collection hit P1.313 trillion in the first eight months, up 13 percent from the same period last year.

Customs collection surged 36 percent in August to P52 billion and 35 percent in the first eight months to P383.5 billion. The agency attributed the consistent double-digit growth to the higher exchange rate, increased oil prices, proper valuation, strong enforcement and revenue-enhancing measures. 

Collections from other offices (non-tax) declined 3 percent year-on-year to P11.7 billion.

Government expenditures sustained last month’s momentum and amounted to P259.5 billion in August, up 29 percent from a year ago. Eight-month expenditures hit P2.19 trillion, or 23 percent higher than what was spent in the same period in 2017. 

“Thus far, 65 percent of the P3.370 trillion full-year program has been disbursed as of end-August,” the Treasury said.

Interest payments accounted for 11 percent of total expenditures in August.

Excluding interest payments from total spending, the national government posted a primary surplus of P25.7 billion in August, its third time to attain a primary surplus since January this year.

This resulted in a year-to-date primary deficit of P43.3 billion, reversing the P46.4-billion primary surplus posted in the first eight months of 2017.

Topics: Bureau of the Treasury , Government , Bureau of Internal Revenue
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