The Malta Independent 25 May 2024, Saturday
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Updated: Government nets €44.2 million in surplus in first quarter 2017 - NSO

Friday, 7 July 2017, 11:38 Last update: about 8 years ago

In the first quarter of 2017, the General Government recorded a surplus of €44.2 million, the NSO said today.

In a press release, the Government stated that this is the "first time in history that there is a surplus in the first quarter of the year." They said that this time of year is normally "is not so great for public finances."

"In fact, last year, the year of the first surplus, there was a deficit of €68 million in the first quarter of the year," it said.The press release went on to say that a decrease in deficit occurred because the Government income rose to about €980 million, about €137 million more than 2016.

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"Despite the repeated decline in the income tax -  the measure which gave tens of millions to our families - the Government continued to gain much more from this tax due to the strong increase in employment and the improvement of profits from businesses."Given that the relatively small increase in public expenditure during the first quarter of 2017 was well below the economic growth rate, Government expenditure as a proportion of the national wealth continued to decline, to fall from 39 % in 2016 to 37% this year," the Government said.

They also stated that our country is experiencing a national debt burden below 60% of national wealth for the first time in almost twenty years.

"For the first time since 1998, our country has a national debt burden below 60% of national wealth," the press release stated, elaborating that "in the first quarter of 2017, the national debt fell below 59% of national wealth, which means that this administration wiped out the increase in the financial burden of the debts committed by three Nationalist administrations." 

 

Quarterly non-financial accounts

During the period January-March 2017, total revenue stood at €979.2 million, an increase of €137.2 million when compared to the first quarter of 2016. This increase in revenue was triggered mainly by higher Market Output (€46.4 million) and Current taxes on income and wealth (€41.1 million). Increases were also registered in Taxes on Production and Imports (€32.0 million), Net Social Contributions receivable (€12.5 million), Current transfers receivable (€5.3 million) and Capital transfers receivable (€2.1 million). Decreases were recorded in Property income receivable (€2.3 million).

Total expenditure in the first quarter amounted to €935.0 million, an increase of €24.7 million from the first quarter of 2016. Increases were recorded mainly in Intermediate Consumption (€27.8 million),

Compensation of Employees (€18.3 million), Current transfers payable (€7.9million), Social Benefi ts and Social Transfers in Kind (€4.9 million) and Subsidies payable (€1.6 million). Decreases were recorded in Capital transfers payable (€23.4 million), Gross Capital Formation (€9.6 million) and Property income payable (€2.8million).

In order to achieve compliance with the provisions of ESA 2010, adjustments to the Consolidated

Fund data were made. In the last quarter of this year, these adjustments triggered a reduction of €57.0 million to the deficit of the Consolidated Fund, resulting in a surplus.

Quarterly financial accounts

During the first quarter, in relation to financial transactions in assets, Currency and deposits registered an increase of €225.3 million over the previous quarter. Likewise, Other accounts receivable increased by €73.1 million. Moreover Equity and investment fund shares and Long-term loans increased to €1.9 million and €0.1 million respectively.

With regard to financial transactions in liabilities, the major increase was recorded in Long-term debt securities, €179.7 million. Concurrently, Other accounts payable witnessed a positive transaction of

€107.9 million whereas Short-term debt securities decreased by €28.6 million. Moreover, Short-term loans went up by €2.1 million while Long-term loans increased by €0.1 million.

Quarterly Debt

Total General Government debt outstanding at the end of March increased by €72.8 million over the

first quarter of 2016. General Government debt amounted to €5,919.1 million, of which €5,915.2 million related to Central Government. The increase in Central Government debt was underpinned by a rise in Long-term debt securities of €215.1 million. Conversely, Short-term debt securities decreased by €142.5 million. Additionally, Short-term loans decreased by €6.0 million while Long-term loans increased by €1.5 million. The euro coins issued in the name of the Treasury, which are considered as a currency liability pertaining to the Central Government, amounted to €72.8 million, a rise of €4.4 million over the euro coin stock recorded at the end of March 2016. In addition, the Local Government debt stood at €3.9 million.

The Government guaranteed debt amounted to €1,427.2 million at the end of March 2017, an increase of €22.6 million when compared to the same period last year.

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