Nothing new as public finances register deficit in first three months

The National Statistics Office says public finances registered a deficit of €16.5 million in the first quarter

In two of the previous three years when Malta registered an end-of-year surplus, the first quarter started with a deficit (Photo: DOI)
In two of the previous three years when Malta registered an end-of-year surplus, the first quarter started with a deficit (Photo: DOI)

Public finances went into deficit in the first three months of the year as higher expenditure outstripped an increase in income, figures out today show.

According to the National Statistics Office, the first quarter deficit stood at €16.5 million. The result does not necessarily mean that Malta’s finances this year will slip into deficit.

In two of the previous three years when finances registered an end-of-year surplus, results for the first three months showed the country registering a deficit.

This is primarily the result of higher outlays at the beginning of the year when budget measures start kicking in, and the tax cycle, which sees government receiving most of its revenue in the second half of the year.

The NSO said revenue stood at €1.131 billion in the first quarter, an increase of almost €90 million over the same period last year. At the same time, expenditure increased by €100 million to €1.147 billion.

The deficit stood at €16.5 million, up from last year’s €5.9 million, during the same period.

The NSO said increases in expenditure were recorded in almost all categories.

General government debt at the end of March stood at €5.8 billion, an increase of €113.3 million over the same quarter last year.

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