According to the Ministry of Finance, the fiscal balance recorded a deficit of $1.44B in the first three months of 2016 compared to a deficit of $1.06B in the same period in 2015.
In the first quarter of 2016 (Q1 2016), total revenues grew by an annual 17% to $2.43B while total expenditures grew at a faster rate of 23% to $3.87B.
The fiscal balance is in deficit even when Lebanon’s debt payments are excluded. Accordingly, the primary deficit widened from $138.04M in Q1 2015 to $400.87M in Q1 2016.
In terms of revenues, total tax revenues increased by a yearly 9% to $1.67B with customs revenues rising by an annual 4% to $321.97M and with VAT revenues rising by an annual 7% to $528.21M.
Telecom revenues, which represent around 60% of non-tax revenues, grew from $241M in Q1 2015 TO $347.50M in Q1 2016.
In terms of expenditures, the heavyweights are usually transfers to EDL and debt repayments.
However, given the continuous slump in oil prices since mid-2014, the value of transfers to EDL registered an annual drop of 52% from $315.47M in Q1 2015 to $152.32M in Q1 2016.
As for the debt service, it grew by an annual 13% from $924M in Q1 2015 to $1.04B in Q1 2016.
Yearly Fiscal Deficit (In $M)
Source: Ministry of finance