The Trinidad Guardian / The deficit incurred by Central Government in the first seven months of fiscal year (FY) 2017/18 was $2,909.8 million, down from the $8,991.1 million in the corresponding period a earlier.

According to the latest Monetary Policy Report from the Central Bank, the smaller deficit, was financed by borrowing primarily on the domestic capital market, some external multilateral loans and the use of the Central Bank overdraft facility.

As a result, the non-energy fiscal deficit fell to $9,233.2 million from a deficit of $12,263.6 million one year ago.

Total revenue increased year-on-year by $4,285.3 million to $23,058 million in the first seven months of FY 2017/18.

The report stated: “Energy revenue increased to $6,323.1 million from $3,272.5 million, primarily on account of higher international petroleum prices, natural gas output and royalties on crude oil and natural gas.

“Collections of non-energy revenues also improved, by 12.8 per cent to $16,725.5 million, largely as a result of increased collections from taxes on income and profits and goods and services and non-tax revenue.

Non-energy receipts were partially offset by lower collections on international trade. The data also show a large fall-off in capital revenue to $9.2 million from $675.6 million, which partly reflected lower receipts year-on-year from the sale of CL Financial assets.”

Aggregate expenditure fell by 6.5 per cent to $25,967.8 million in the seven-month period to April 2018, reflecting lower spending across most categories of current expenditure. Outlays on wages and salaries were lower due to a moderation in payments of arrears to public officers, while expenditure on goods and services also fell.

Total public sector debt outstanding amounted to $120.4 billion at the end of April compared to $121.3 billion at the end of September 2017. During the first seven months of FY 2017/18, Central Government borrowed $5.1 billion domestically under the General Development Loans Act to finance its fiscal operations as well as for debt refinancing, while making principal repayments of $3 billion. As a result, domestic debt increased to $42.4 billion at the end of April from $40.8 billion in September 2017.

External debt increased to $24.8 billion in April from $23.5 billion in September 2017 partially due to disbursement of the first tranche of an external loan contracted from the CorporaciĆ³n Andina de Fomento (CAF), the Development Bank of Latin America, as well as disbursements made under existing arrangements with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

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