Fiscal deficit for the first 3 months of 2015 showed a 14.95% year-on-year (y-o-y) contraction to $506.29M, on the back of 4.19% higher revenues and 4.35% lower expenditures, over the same period. In addition, by March 2015, the total primary balance displayed a deficit to $22.84M compared to a primary deficit of $128.09M, in the same period of 2014.
Total government revenues stood at $770.23M by March 2015, compared to a lower level of $739.25M by March 2014. On the tax inflows side, they declined by 19.15% yearly to $428.12M. In details, customs revenues, constituting 24.54% of total tax inflows, increased by an annual 10.30% to $105.04M by March, which was offset by the yearly 24.94% drop in VAT revenues (grasped 22.81% share of tax receipts) to $225.43M. As for Telecom revenues, the biggest share of non-tax income, augmented from $114.32M by March 2014 to $241.00M by March of this year.
Total government expenditures declined by an annual 4.35% to $1.28B by the third month of the year, compared to a higher level of $1.34B by March 2014. Regarding government’s expenditure, transfers to Electricite du Liban dropped by 61.67% annually to $107.00M, on the back of the approximate 60% fall in international oil prices from June of last year. In contrast, interest payments on government’s debt went up by 3.61% to $473.09M, due to interest on domestic debt amplifying by 5.90% yearly to $358.57M by March, while that on foreign debt fell by 2.95% y-o-y to $114.52M, over the same period.
Yearly Fiscal and Primary Balances by March (In $M)
Source: Ministry of Finance