Government records budget deficit of €16.5 million in Q1 2019

Helena Grech - 8th July 2019

Government expenditure increased in almost all categories, while government revenue increases came primarily from current taxes on income and wealth and capital transfers receivable.

Figures released by the National Statistics Office (NSO) show that the government has recorded a deficit of €16.5 million for the first quarter of 2019.

During the period of January to March 2019, total revenue stood at €1,130.8 million, an increase of €89.3 million when compared to the corresponding quarter last year.

Total expenditure for the same period amounted to €1,147.3 million, representing an increase of €99.9 million when compared with the first quarter of 2018.

The figures refer to the budget of the ‘general government’, which incorporates the central government, i.e. the cabinet, ministries and government departments, as well as local government.

Key contributors for an increase in government revenue come from current taxes on income and wealth, and capital transfers receivable, with an increase of €90.6 million and €17.9 million respectively. Increases were also registered in taxes on production and imports, worth €14.2 million, and net social contributions receivable, worth €12.1 million.

Decreases in government revenue were registered in market output, at €40.1 million, property income receivable, at €4.4 million, and current transfers receivable, at €1.0 million.

From the expenditure perspective, increases were registered in almost all categories. Such increases include intermediate consumption, at €47.5 million, gross capital formation, at €36.6 million, current transfers payable, at €34 million, compensation of employees, at €19 million, subsidies payable, at €3.8 million, and social benefits and transfers in kind, at €0.4 million.

Decreases in expenditure were registered in capital transfers payable, at €39.4 million and property income payable, at €1.9 million.

In terms of debt, the government found itself with an increase of €113.3 million when compared with the first quarter of 2018. For the period of January to March 2019, government debt stood at €5,847.3 million.

Central Government debt increased by €113.2 million, amounting to €5,844.2 million, where the largest decrease was underpinned by a drop in Long-term debt securities of €191.6 million.

Conversely, Short-term debt securities increased by €71.8 million. Long-term loans and short-term loans registered an increase of €27.3 and €7.5 million respectively. Currency and deposits stood at €376.3 million, an increase of €198.2 million over March 2018. This includes the euro coins issued in the name of the Treasury considered as liability for Central Government and the 62+ Malta Government Savings Bond, the latter amounting to €291.9 million.

The Local Government debt stood at €3.1 million. The Government guaranteed debt amounted to €1,068.0 million at the end of March 2019, a decrease of €17.0 million when compared to the corresponding period of 2018.

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Helena Grech - 8th July 2019

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