Narrower budget deficit of P610B seen this year

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    The government’s budget deficit is seen to amount to P610 billion for 2019, equivalent to 3.2 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), data from the Department of Budget and Management showed.

    The medium-term fiscal program posted on the agency’s website showed that the figure was derived during the 177th Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) meeting last December 11.

    The latest deficit estimate is lower than the P624.4 billion projected during the prior DBCC meeting held in July, although the deficit-to-GDP ratio remains the same.

    Revenues are seen to amount to P3.147 trillion, which translates to 16.8 percent of GDP.

    The projected collection figure is seen to increase by 10.4 percent from the year ago level.

    For disbursements, the outlook is P3.757 trillion, equivalent to 20 percent of GDP, or 10.2 percent up from a year ago.

    For 2020 to 2022, the deficit level will be kept at 3.2 percent of GDP.

    In nominal terms, the deficit ceiling is set at P671.2 billion next year, P737 billion in 2021, and P811.2 billion by the end of the administration’s term.

    The DBCC during its meeting revised some of its macroeconomic assumptions, taking into consideration both external and domestic developments, while it also tightened the GDP growth rate forecast for 2019 as the year comes to a close.

    The GDP growth target is projected at six to 6.5 percent in 2019 and 6.5 to 7.5 percent in 2020 to 2022.

    The economic growth forecast for the year was narrowed from the previous projection of six to seven percent.

    The DBCC kept the growth projection for 2020, while lowering forecasts for 2021 and 2022 from the previous seven to eight percent.