According to Ministry of Finance (MoF) latest figures, Lebanon’s fiscal deficit (cash basis) decreased by 85.85% from last year to stood at $288.16M by May 2021. Interesting to note that the fiscal deficit on the black market rate is approximately $21.72M, which means that devaluation has given Lebanon a good breathing space when it comes to the “twin deficits” both fiscal and trade.
In detail, the government revenues (including treasuries) added 16.87% on yearly basis to stand at $4,416.58M by May 2021. On the counterpart, total expenditures (including treasuries) retreated yearly by 18.57% to $4,704.75M by May 2021. It is worth noting that the primary balance which excludes debt service posted a surplus of $404.28M, compared to a deficit of $791.92M during the same period last year.
Fiscal revenues recorded a yearly increase by 29.03% to stand at $4,098.22M. Tax revenues (constituting 80.68% of total revenues) added an annual 20.62% to $3,315.79M by May 2021. Revenues from VAT (19.29% of total tax receipts) added 98.79% y-o-y to $983.29M.
As for Non-tax revenues (19.32% of total revenues), they increased from $427.06M by May 2020 to $728.43M by May 2021. Meanwhile, “Telecom revenues” added annually 111.54% to stand at $280.65M by the same period.
On the expenditures’ side, transfers to Electricity du Liban (EDL) (5.9% of general expenditure) decreased by 31.12% to reach $277.43M. Moreover, total debt servicing (including the interest payments and principal repayment) reached $773.64M by May 2021, down by a yearly 39.69% such that interest payments alone retreated by 40.73% y-o-y to $729.23M. In details, interest payments on domestic debt slumped by 35.16% y-o-y to $713.79M. Meanwhile, interest payments on foreign debt registered a year-on-year significant drop by 88.08% to $15.44M.
In its turn, the treasury transactions (includes revenues and spending that are of temporary nature) posted a surplus of $81.19M by May 2021 compared to last year’s surplus of $76.17M.
Yearly Fiscal deficit by May (in $M)