The government incurred a budget deficit of P49.3 billion in October 2019, smaller by 17.7 percent than the shortfall in the same month last year as expenditures barely grew during the month.
Data from the Bureau of Treasury showed that revenue collection increased 6 percent in October to P261.6 billion, while expenditures rose 1.37 percent to P310.8 billion.
The budget deficit in the first 10 months also dropped 20.5 percent to P348.3 billion on sluggish government spending.
Total revenues improved 9.8 percent in the first 10 months to P2.35 trillion, while disbursements rose 5.05 percent to P2.93 trillion.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue raised P178.1 billion in October, up by 8.09 percent from last year’s outcome. The Bureau of Customs also grew its October collection by 3.04 percent to P57.7 billion.
The Bureau of the Treasury contributed P10.6 billion in October, up by 26.77 percent from P8.4 billion posted a year ago.
Debt interest payments reached P20.7 billion in October, down by 13.70 percent from a year ago. Netting out interest payments from expenditures, the government posted a P28.5-billion primary deficit in October, resulting in a cumulative primary deficit of P33.8 billion, which was 76.33 percent lower than its level over the same period in 2018.
ING Bank Manila senior economist Nicholas Mapa said the government was expected to boost spending in the remaining two months.
“We expect government spending to sustain the same strong pace to close out the year, which should translate into higher spending growth in both November and December given that government spending was in contraction by end 2018,” Mapa said.