Fiscal deficit, for the first three quarters of 2015, broadened 17.38% year-on-year (y-o-y) to $2.61B. This was attributed to the 8.61% yearly decrease in revenues outpacing the 2.91% annual decline in expenditures.
However, during the same period, the total primary balance displayed a surplus to $672M compared to a higher primary surplus of $867M by September 2014.
Total government revenues stood at $7.23B by September 2015, compared to a higher level of $7.91B by September 2014. Tax revenues declined by 1.43% yearly to $5.28B. In details, VAT revenues (grasped 29.50% share of tax receipts) dropped 6.15% y-o-y to $1.56B, while custom revenues (grasped 19.11% share of tax receipts) added 0.73% to $1.01B, over the same period. As for telecom revenues, they went down 9.76% to $869M due to the tightening of telecom revenues after the Ministry of Telecommunication reduced internet and mobile tariffs in June 2014.
Total government expenditures declined from $10.13B in the first three quarters of 2014 to $9.84B in the same period of 2015. Regarding transfers to Electricite du Liban, they dropped by 40.44% annually to $888M, on the back of the falling oil prices. In contrast, interest payments on government’s debt went up 6.03% to $3.13B, due to the 9.03% rise in interest payments on domestic debt, while interest payments on foreign debt steadied at $1.04B.
Yearly Government Deficit by September (In $M)
Source: Ministry of Finance