According to Ministry of Finance (MoF) latest figures, Lebanon’s fiscal deficit (cash basis) stood at $824.56M by March 2021, up from last year’s $1,655,03M.
In detail, the government revenues (including treasuries) added 1.82% on yearly basis to stand at $2,267.45M by March 2021. On the counterpart, total expenditures (including treasuries) retreated yearly by 20.35% to $3,092.01M by March 2021. It is worth noting that the primary balance which excludes debt service posted a deficit of $354.12M, compared to a deficit of $624.35M during the same period last year.
Fiscal revenues recorded a slight yearly drop by 0.30% to stand at $2,091.95M. Tax revenues (constituting 82.38% of total revenues) retreated by an annual 4.43% to $1,655M by March 2021. Revenues from VAT (21.28% of total tax receipts) added 36.83% y-o-y to $449.59M.
As for Non-tax revenues (17.62% of total revenues), they increased from $366.48M by March 2020 to $436.95M by March 2021. Meanwhile, “Telecom revenues” dropped yearly by 30.41% to stand at $92.33M by the same period.
On the expenditures’ side, transfers to Electricity du Liban (EDL) (18.20% of general expenditure) slid by 27.96% to reach $217.45M. Moreover, total debt servicing (including the interest payments and principal repayment) reached $502.61M by March 2021, down by a yearly 41.59% such that interest payments alone retreated by 50% y-o-y to $474.25M. In details, interest payments on domestic debt slumped by 43.79% y-o-y to $466.34M. Meanwhile, interest payments on foreign debt registered a year-on-year significant drop by 93.34% to $7.91M.
In its turn, the treasury transactions (includes revenues and spending that are of temporary nature) posted a surplus of $32.24M compared to a deficit $51.34M by March 2020.
Yearly Fiscal deficit by March (in $M)
Source: MoF, BLOMINVEST