July 7, 2022

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NG budget deficit narrows in May

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THE NATIONAL Government’s (NG) budget deficit narrowed in May as revenues grew by double digits and spending contracted during the height of the election period, the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) reported on Thursday.

In a statement, the BTr said the budget gap fell by 26.72% to P146.8 billion in May, from P200.3 billion in the same period last year.

Month on month, the May fiscal balance swung to a deficit from April’s P4.9-billion surplus.

Total revenues rose by 18.91% to P304.9 billion in May, from P256.4 billion in the same period last year. This was driven by a 21.8% increase in tax revenues to P285.6 billion, but this was offset by a 12.24% drop in nontax revenues to P19.4 billion.

Tax revenues were fueled by double-digit growth in collections by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BoC). BIR collected P216.6 billion, up by 17.91% year on year, while the BoC collected P66.3 billion, up by 36.35%.

The BTr’s revenues dropped by 28.22% to P8.9 billion due to lower dividend remittances, while collections from other offices went up by 8.35% to P10.4 billion.

Security Bank Corp. Chief Economist Robert Dan J. Roces attributed the higher revenues to increased economic activity as restrictions remained at the most lenient level.

“Attribution may be through increased revenue with looser alert levels aiding the economic reopening, allowing the government to garner better tax uptake… There’s also the weaker peso’s factor channeling through import taxes,” he said via e-mail.

The peso closed at P54.70 against the US dollar on Thursday, the lowest since Nov. 21, 2005.

Nicholas Antonio T. Mapa, senior economist at the Manila branch of Dutch bank ING Bank N.V., said Customs collections may have gotten a boost from the more expensive fuel imports.

At the same time, government expenditures contracted by 1.1% year on year to P451.7 billion in May, as an election ban on public works projects was in place until May 8 or a day before…


2022-06-23 12:33:35

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