Fiscal Deficit Narrowed by 36.77% y-o-y to $1.66B by August

The fiscal performance improved during the first eight months of the year with the deficit narrowing by 36.77% (year-on-year) y-o-y to $1.66B and the primary surplus standing at $951M, compared to a deficit of $284M last year. This improvement came as a result of a 12.60% y-o-y increase in total revenues, coupled with a 1.70% drop in total expenditures.

Tax revenues grew by 3.22% yearly to $4.92B, by August. This was due to the 10.22% increase in Miscellaneous Tax Revenues and the marginal increase in VAT revenues by 0.04% to $1.52B, despite the 8.35% drop in customs revenue, resulting from the slowdown in economic activity, as well as the decline in trade across the Syrian border.

Non-tax revenues also improved, revealing a 12.30% y-o-y rise to $1.44B, attributed to the 4.95% annual increase in telecom revenues to $841M.

On the expenditures side, transfers to Electricite du Liban (EdL) declined by 6.46% y-o-y to reach $1.41B.

Total interest payments increased by 11.67% to $2.49B. Interest payments on domestic debt rose by 15.21% to $1.57B. Interest payments on foreign debt also grew by 6.11% to $920M. Worth mentioning that gross public debt increased by 10.02% during the period December 2012-2013, where debt in domestic currency grew by 12.16%, while debt in foreign currency grew by 7.09%. 

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