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September 19, 2014
Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Deficit soars to 36.6B pesos

Figure compares to 8B-peso surplus in 2012

The government’s budget deficit soared in the first 11 months of 2013 to a towering 36.675 billion pesos, compared to the eight billion pesos posted in the same period of 2012.

Overall, the country’s primary budget deficit — which does not include public debt interest payments — in the January-November period clocked in at 1.765 billion pesos, contrasting the comparatively massive surplus of 26.630 billion pesos observed in the same period of 2012.

The 2013 budget received several amendments throughout the year, but spending up to the end of November had not surpassed initially allocated funds, despite the deficit registered. For instance the initial budget for current spending was 627.229 billion pesos, and 584.313 billion had been spent by the end of the month.

Interest payments totaled 34.910 billion pesos, increasing a mere 0.6 percent from 2012.

The state collected 585.084 billion pesos — that is, 29.2 percent more than up to November of 2012. Within that bracket fall tax revenue and social security contributions, which rose 26.1 percent to 531.023 billion pesos, as well as 2.6 billion pesos in property taxes, up 1.6 billion.

Meanwhile, government coughed up just under 35 percent more, spending a total of 621.758 billion pesos last year excluding December.

The government slightly moderated its spending in November, spending 4.540 billion pesos more than what entered its coffers,

Significant moderation in state spending during the penultimate month of the year were seen categories such as current tranfers to the private sector, which fell from a 51.4 percent hike in the 10 months through October to a 4.6 increase in November.

Capital transfers (including those to provinces) declined 2.6 percent in November, compared to a 52 percent increase in the first 10 months of the year, according to the Argentine Budget and Public Finance Administration Association (ASAP).

Revenue weighed in at 52.155 billion pesos for the month, while accounted expenditure totaled 57.088 billion.

In November alone, primary spending, which does not include debt repayments, slowed down slightly compared to the same 30 days of 2012, contrasting an upswing in the same inter-annual comparison for the July-October period.

Nonetheless, a sharp overall hike of 37.7 percent was seen in primary spending, which rose to 534.374 billion pesos.

According to ASAP, 80 percent of the primary spending budgeted in 2012 had been executed by the end of November.

SPENDING BY MINISTRY

Thirty-five percent of public spending, or 242.977 billion pesos, went to the Labour Ministry, led by Florencio Randazzo, far ahead of the second placed Planning Ministry, which received 69.467 billion.

With the income tax floor raised to 15,000 pesos in late August, the increase in revenue from the levy was more than halved in November, increasing 10.8 percent compared to the 36 percent surge registered in the first 10 months of the year. In fact, social security contributions also suffered lower growth, dropping to 26.8 percent from the 32.8 percent seen up to October.

Export duties intensified a negative trend, registering a 9.7 percent decrease in the first 11 months of last year.

The only government ministry to wane down was Héctor Timerman’s Foreign Ministry, whose spending fell by 81.5 million pesos — a 3.4 percent decrease.

The Economy Ministry, now led by Axel Kicillof but for most of the year by Hernán Lorenzino, spent 158 percent, or 3.853 billion pesos more than in the first 11 months of 2012.

Herald staff

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