Gov't spending growth stagnant at 5.7 pct
MANILA, Philippines - Government spending stayed low in September, putting more pressure on consumer and business spending to maintain or boost economic growth.
Government spending increased 5.7% to P145.9 billion in September compared with 5% in August.
For the first nine months of the year, spending increased 12% to P1.36 trillion.
Government did better in revenue, boosting it by 21% to P127.3-billion, that brought 9-month growth to 13%.
In September, the government posted a P18.6 billion deficit, 43% lower than year-ago figures. For the first 9 months, the fiscal deficit reached P101.2 billion, well within the government's target of P144.5 billion.
Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said growth for both revenues and expenditures showed strengthening fiscal fundamentals.
"The September report shows an even healthier picture of Government fiscal performance as our revenues posted a strong increase over last year's collections. Coupled with strong growth in our expenditures over the first nine months of the year, we can see that the dynamism of our operations has yet to wane even as we approach the last quarter of 2013," Purisima said.
"Of particular note is our primary surplus of P156.9 billion. For the first three quarters of 2013 - 13% higher than the primary surplus of P139.2 billion for the same period last year. That our primary surplus has kept pace with the growth of our revenues and expenditures shows that fiscal stability is present and strengthening, and that capacity for further growth still remains."
Purisima also noted that the government has collected P56.3 billion in so-called "sin" taxes on alcohol and tobacco products as of the end of August, 61% higher than year-ago figures.
Collections from tobacco products surged 77.7% to P35 billion while collections from alcohol products jumped 39.6% to P21.3 billion. - With ANC