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Budget balance swung to P28.8-B surplus in August

By: - Reporter / @bendeveraINQ
/ 05:04 PM September 22, 2017

The national government’s budget balance swung to a surplus in August as revenues exceeded spending, trimming the eight-month deficit to P176.2 billion.

The latest Bureau of the Treasury data released Friday showed that the government posted a P28.8-billion surplus in August.

Tax and non-tax revenues combined jumped 10 percent to P230.4 billion from P209.6 billion a year ago, as tax collections grew 11 percent year-on-year to P212.3 billion.

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The August tax take of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the country’s biggest tax-collection agency, climbed 9 percent to P171.7 billion from P157.5 billion last year.

The Bureau of Customs, meanwhile, increased its haul of import duties and other taxes by 5.2 percent to P38.3 billion from a year ago’s P33.1 billion.

Expenditures on public goods and services in August rose at a faster pace of 14 percent from last year’s P177 billion, although the actual amount spent, at P201.6 billion, was lower than the revenues that month.

In a statement, the Treasury noted that the national government’s disbursements grew double-digits for the fourth consecutive month in August.

“Steady expenditure growth from May to August allowed the year-to-date spending to increase by 10 percent over the 2016 figure,” the Treasury noted.

As of end-August, expenditures reached P1.778 trillion, up by a tenth from P1.619 trillion during the first eight months of last year.

Revenues from January to August, meanwhile, increased by 8 percent to P1.601 trillion from P1.48 trillion a year ago.

As such, the budget deficit as of August narrowed from end-July’s P205 billion, although wider by 27 percent than the P138.4-billion deficit at end-August last year.

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For the third quarter, the government must post a budget deficit of P201.4 billion or 41.8 percent of the P482.1-billion deficit program for 2017, equivalent to 3 percent of gross domestic product. /jpv

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