According to the Ministry of Finance, Lebanon’s fiscal deficit broadened by 8.52% to reach $1.94B by June 2016, versus a deficit of $1.78B in the same period in 2015.
In details, in the first half of the year, total revenues grew 6.61% y-o-y to $5.34B, while total expenditures expanded at a faster rate of 7.11% to $7.27B. The increase in revenues can be attributed to the 2.59% y-o-y rise in total tax revenues, where customs revenues and VAT revenues improved by 1.34% and 1.77% to $674.17M and $1.05B, respectively. As for telecom revenues, they witnessed an escalation of 12.27% y-o-y to $617.50M.
In terms of expenditures, most expenses were allocated for transfers to EDL and the debt service. As global oil prices significantly dropped by June 2016 when compared to the same period of 2015; the value of transfers to EDL registered an annual drop of 46.71% to $334.41M. As for the debt service, it grew by an annual 7.61% to $2.43B by June 2016, due the higher interest payments on both domestic and foreign debt.
The primary surplus, which excludes Lebanon’s debt service, stood at $495.19M by June 2016, a 4.21% rise from a surplus of $475.10M by August 2015.
Yearly Fiscal Deficit by June (In $B)
Source: Ministry of Finance