Government deficit improves in first four months of 2011

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Government deficit improves in first four months of 2011In the first four months this year, the shortfall between recurrent revenue and total expenditure of Central Government amounted to €141.8 million, down by €54.2 million compared to the corresponding period in 2010.

In January-April 2011, recurrent revenue increased by €33.5 million, whereas total expenditure registered a decline of €20.7 million, resulting in an improvement in government deficit, compared to the corresponding period last year.

During the period under review, recurrent revenue stood at €723.7 million, up by 4.8 per cent over last year. The main contributors were Social Security (+€17.8 million), Customs and Excise (+€15.6 million) and Miscellaneous receipts (+€10.6 million). Conversely, a reduction in proceeds was recorded from Income Tax (-€22.1 million).

Total expenditure stood at €865.5 million when compared to the first four months last year. This drop of 2.3 per cent was the result of lower outlays on recurrent expenditure and on interest payments. Capital expenditure remained at the level registered last year.

The decline of €19.8 million in recurrent expenditure was driven by lower outlays on social security benefits and less contributions to government entities, by €14.3 million and €13.1 million respectively. These were partially eclipsed by higher personal emoluments (+€4.6 million) and an increased expenditure on streets and roads lighting (+€4.4 million).

Capital expenditure amounted to €69.9 million. The higher expenditure on PC Leasing (+€4.0 million) and the additional cost on the EU Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (+€2.4 million) were outweighed by the completion of the Malta South Sewage Infrastructure, meaning negligible outlay on the latter project.

The interest component of the public debt servicing costs for the period under review declined by €1.2 million.

At the end of April Central Government debt stood at €4,287.2 million, up by €294.5 million, or 7.4 per cent over the corresponding period last year. This was the result of higher long-term borrowing, which added €455.9 million. Short-term securities and foreign borrowing dropped by €153.5 million and €13.2 million respectively. The euro coins issued in the name of the Maltese Treasury went up by €4.0 million when compared to the coin stock as at the end of April 2010, and totalled €41.4 million.

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