Record low 2016 third quarter deficit
The Quarterly Accounts for General Government, published yesterday by the National Statistics Office (see page 7), show that the government has succeeded in recording the lowest third quarter deficit since data on the General Government deficit started being compiled.
The Finance Ministry yesterday noted that the General Government deficit for the third quarter of 2016 fell to €2.4 million from an already relatively low amount of €20.5 million recorded a year earlier. The deficit reduction resulted from an expenditure growth which was kept lower than the revenue increase. In fact, while revenue increased by €66.7 million or 7.5 per cent, expenditure increased by €48.5 million or 5.4 per cent.
The ministry explained, “The growth in total revenue was mainly fuelled by increases in revenues from market output as well as current taxes on income and wealth, the latter reflecting the dynamic performance of the labour market. Higher proceeds were also recorded in other revenue components including production and imports which is reflecting the persistent growth in domestic demand, and net social contributions.
“On the expenditure side, the main increase was recorded in intermediate consumption. Other increases were recorded in compensation of employees, current and capital transfers, and subsidies payable, as well as in social benefits and social transfers in kind.”
Finance Minister Prof Edward Scicluna commented, “This positive fiscal result for the third quarter of the year continues to confirm that we are indeed on track in reaching the record low annual deficit target of 0.7 per cent, set for 2016.”