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Revenue growth outpaces spending to yield Jan. surplus




Posted on March 24, 2017


THE GOVERNMENT began the year with a fiscal surplus as revenues grew faster than spending, according to data released yesterday by the Treasury bureau.

Revenues increased by a tenth to P200.314 billion from P182.226 billion, with tax revenues alone growing 14% to 184.343 billion from P161.896 billion. -- BW FILE PHOTO
The government ended January with a P2.222-billion budget surplus that was a reversal of the P3.474-billion deficit recorded a year ago and December 2016’s P353.422-billion gap. It was “the first time” the national government “achieved positive fiscal balance for the month since 2010,” the Treasury said in a statement.

Revenues increased by a tenth to P200.314 billion from P182.226 billion, with tax revenues alone growing 14% to P184.343 billion from P161.896 billion. The Bureau of Internal Revenue, the government’s biggest tax collector, raked in 14% more at P147.393 billion from P129.652 billion, although it narrowly missed a P147.517-billion target for that month. The Customs bureau -- the single second-biggest revenue agency -- increased collections by 16% to P35.943 billion from P31.083 billion.

Spending in January increased seven percent to P198.092 billion from a year-ago P185.7 billion, despite a seven percent year-on-year drop in interest payments.

Sought for comment, Security Bank Corp. economist Angelo B. Taningco attributed the revenue surge to the scheduled excise tax rate hike that month on tobacco products and fermented liquor, while Asian Institute of Management professor Emmanuel A. Leyco said: “I would like to see spending catch up with the increase in revenues -- that would be a good sign.” -- E. J. C. Tubayan


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