You are here

Fiscal clouds on the horizon

03/03/2015 07:48
Fiscal surplus fell in January 2015 compared to January 2014 in a continuation of a worsening of the fiscal situation that was first witnessed in the last quarter of 2014.

According to Finance Ministry data, the fiscal surplus decreased to €74.5 mn or 0.43% of GDP from €144.3 mn or 0.83% of GDP in January 2014 as a result of a combination of lower revenues and higher expenditures.

Revenues down by 7.5%

Total government revenue declined in the first month of the year by 7.5% or €45.2 mn to €556.8 mn from €602 mn.

The gap is mainly due to a decrease of €27.9 mn in non-tax revenue, which fell to €41.3 mn from €69.3 mn.

A decline of € 17.2 mn was registered in tax revenue due to a decrease of €21.7 mn in direct taxes and an increase of €5,6 mn in indirect taxes while social security contributions dropped by €1,1 mn.

The VAT revenues rose by €4.3 mn and revenue from consumer tax decreased by €3.9 mn.

Expenditure up 5%

Public spending rose by 4.7% or €21.8 mn to €484.4 mn from €462.6 mn last year.

The increase occurred despite the declines in most of the expenses categories because of the increase of 50.6% or €46.7 mn that was observed in current transfers which reached €139 mn from €92.3 mn.

A slight increase was also registered in SSF payments.

On the other hand, spending on salaries declined by €8.1 mn and on the purchase of goods and services by €4.9 mn while debt service spending fell by €13.1 mn.

Primary surplus dropped to €93.3 mn from €176.1 mn.

The fiscal surplus up to September 2014 amounted to €224 mn but fell to €68 mn by the end of last year.