According to Ministry of Finance (MoF) latest figures, Lebanon’s fiscal balance (cash basis) decreased by 116.64% from last year to register a surplus of $421.80M by August 2021 for the 5th month in a row reflecting the extent contractionary policy taken by the State that is characterized by decreased government spending and also increased taxes as would be seen in the State budget of 2022.
In more details, the government revenues (including treasuries) added 33.44% on yearly basis to stand at $8,198.72M by August 2021. On the counterpart, total expenditures (including treasuries) retreated yearly by 10.39% to $7,776.92M by August 2021. It is worth noting that the primary balance which excludes debt service posted a surplus of $1,509.71M, compared to a deficit of $861.30M during the same period last year.
Fiscal revenues recorded a yearly increase by 41.46% to stand at $7,622.57M. Tax revenues (constituting 80.68% of total revenues) added an annual 35.25% to $6,208.23M by August 2021. Revenues from VAT (29.50% of total tax receipts) added 120.79% y-o-y to $1,778.52M.
As for Non-tax revenues (16.28% of total revenues), they increased from $798.34M by August 2020 to $1,414.34M by August 2021. Meanwhile, “Telecom revenues” added annually 206.58% to stand at $610.10M by the same period.
On the expenditures’ side, transfers to Electricity du Liban (EDL) (8% of general expenditure) decreased by 26.55% to reach $463.78M. Moreover, total debt servicing (including the interest payments and principal repayment) reached $1,240.12M by August 2021, down by a yearly 11.32% such that interest payments alone retreated by 11.21% y-o-y to 1,162.23M. In details, interest payments on domestic debt slumped by 2.91% y-o-y to $1,134.55M. Meanwhile, interest payments on foreign debt registered a year-on-year significant drop by 80.28% to $27.68M.
In its turn, the treasury transactions (includes revenues and spending that are of temporary nature) posted a surplus of $152.21M by August 2021 compared to last year’s deficit of $275.17M.
Yearly Fiscal deficit by August (in $M)
Source: MoF, BLOMINVEST