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Big September spending pushed deficit to P178.6b

The budget deficit swelled 85.5 percent in September to P178.6 billion from P96.2 billion a year ago on the back of a 39-percent increase in government expenditures, the Bureau of Treasury said Tuesday.

Data showed that expenditures in September reached P415.1 billion, up from P298.6 billion in the same month last year while revenues rose 16.89 percent to P236.5 billion from P202.4 billion.

This brought the budget deficit in the first nine months to P299 billion, down 20.95 percent from P378.2 billion a year earlier.  It was also 18 percent short of the programmed deficit of P364.7 billion for the period.

“Government spending continued to pick up and notched its highest monthly growth, while revenue growth was second only to May of this year,” the Treasury said.

Government revenues in September amounted to P236.5 billion, or P34.2 billion better than a year ago.  Total collections in the first nine months increased by 10.25 percent to P2.33 trillion, beating the target by P8.2 billion.

Collections by the Bureau of Internal Revenue improved 15.24 percent to P150.5 billion in September and 10.98 percent to P1.602 trillion in the first nine months.  The BIR, however, was 4.2 percent behind the program.

Import duties collected by the Bureau of Customs reached P59.4 billion in September. Excluding the P594 million in tax refunds, Customs posted a net collection of P58.8 billion during the month.

“Growth for the month was attributed to higher imports and collections from the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Law, Rice Tarrification Law and the National Food Authority tax expenditure collection,” the Treasury said.

Customs collections from January to September went up by 8.15 percent to P470.0 billion, but fell short by 2.29 percent or P11 billion of the program.

The Bureau of the Treasury posted a double-digit increase of 48.83 percent in September income, fueled by higher returns from Btr investments and deposits, interest on advances to government-owned and –controlled corporations and government share from Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.’s income.

The Treasury’s nine-month revenue hit P118.6 billion, or 31.05 percent higher than P90.5 billion generated in the first three quarters of 2018.

Meanwhile, the government disbursed P415.1 billion in September, equivalent to 39.01 percent year-on-year growth, the fastest in the first nine months of 2019. Cumulatively, government expenditures in the nine-month period increased by 5.51 percent to P2.626 trillion from a year ago.  It was still 2.14 percent behind the program.

“The national government continued to catch up with its spending plan for the year where 71.2 percent of the P3.769 trillion full-year program is to be disbursed as of end-September despite the delay in the passage of the 2019 budget and the election ban in the earlier part of the year,” the Treasury said.

Primary expenditures, net of interest payments, reached P372 billion in September, up by 39.89 percent or P106.1 billion from a year ago. The January to September primary expenditures also went up 5.17 percent to P2.333 trillion from a year earlier.

“Excluding interest payments from expenditures, the national government’s primary deficit for the month was recorded at P135.5 billion, more than twice the September 2018 level. The nine-month primary deficit, on the other hand, declined by 95.09 percent or P101.7 billion YoY to P5.2 billion,” the Treasury said.

Topics: budget deficit , Bureau of Treasury , expenditures , Government revenues
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