National government registers P23.7-B fiscal deficit for February 2017

MANILA, April 22 -- The National Government (NG) ran a P23.7 billion deficit for February 2017, a third lower than last year as revenue generation outpaced spending growth for the period. The trend is reflected as well in the lower cumulative shortfall from January to February amounting to P21.5 billion against P38.1 billion in 2016.

Revenue Performance

Total revenues for the month reached P151.8 billion, 9 percent or P12.9 billion better than the level posted in the same month last year. Meanwhile, January to February revenues grew by 10 percent year-on-year behind reforms set in place among revenue collecting agencies as well as the pickup in economic activity for the period. Tax revenues accounted for 91 percent of total collections in February.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) was able to sustain double digit year-on-year growth last month by growing 12 percent, raising a total of P105.9 billion. To date, BIR collections are higher by P28.8 billion or 13 percent compared to the previous year’s level.

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) also maintained double digit year-on-year growth at 14 percent as it took in P30.9 billion for the month. This brought year-to-date collections to P66.8 billion, up 15 percent over the 2016 level.

Income from the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) contracted by 8 percent from last year for a total of P5.3 billion. The decline is attributed to lower income from BSF/SSF investments given the diminished asset base and lower dividends on share holdings of the National Government. Similarly, January to February income is down by 3 percent YoY.

The P7.7 billion non tax revenue from other offices is also lower than last year’s total exhibiting a YoY contraction of 17 percent for the month. Double digit declines for both January and February resulted in a 28 percent dip in performance.

Expenditure Performance

The NG disbursed a total of P175.6 billion in February, 1 percent better than comparable figures last year with 14 percent of expenditures going to interest payments (IP). The increase in IP for the month is due to coupon payments and other charges relating to liability management transactions in 2016 and the early part of 2017. Year to date, expenditures registered a positive growth of 4 percent.

Primary Surplus/ (Deficit)

Netting out interest payments from expenditures, NG recorded a P500 million primary surplus for February in contrast to the P13.3 billion primary deficit recorded last year. The year-to-date primary surplus of P45.1 billion is up by 57 percent from 2016, indicating wider space for productive spending.

 © 2017