Lebanon’s fiscal deficit narrowed by 25% year-on-year (y-o-y) to $2.50B by the October 2017. This was attributed to the 12.86% yearly increase in fiscal revenues, to $9.62B, outpacing the 6.34% annual rise, to $12.12B, in government expenditures.
During the same period, the total primary balance displayed a surplus of $1.57B by the 2016 compared to a lower primary surplus of $570.91M by October 2016.
Total budget revenues stood at $8.95B by October 2017, compared to a lower level of $7.93B by October 2016. Tax revenues, constituting the largest share of total public revenues, increased by a yearly 17.76% to $7.26B. In details, miscellaneous tax revenues, constituting the lion’s shares of total tax receipts (55.19%) rose by a yearly 30.15% to $4.01B. Moreover, VAT revenues (grasping a 28.36% share of tax receipts) rose by 7.35% y-o-y to $2.06B, and custom revenues (16.45% of tax receipts) added 2.19% to $1.19B, over the same period. As for telecom revenues (7.97% of total government revenues), they witnessed a drop of 27.7% y-o-y to $713.84M, by October 2017.
As for expenditures, total budget expenditures rose by 6.34% to $11.04B by October 2017. Regarding transfers to Electricite du Liban, they surged by 51.45% annually to $1.08B, mainly due to the continuous increase in oil prices. Similarly, interest payments on government’s debt went up 4.71% to $3.93B, due to the 4.36% rise in interest payments on domestic debt to $2.64B, and the 5.32% rise in the interest payments on foreign debt to $1.29B.
Yearly Government Deficit by October (in $B)
Source: Ministry of finance