Fiscal gap widens in March

LOWER revenues amid the acceleration in government spending resulted in a wider national government budget deficit in March, data released by the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) showed on Tuesday.

The BTr’s cash operations report revealed that the P191.4 billion shortfall in March was wider than the P71.6-billion and P116-billion fiscal gaps a year and a month ago.

“The national government achieved a P191.4 billion fiscal deficit for March, rising from P71.6 billion last year as government expenditure grew by 22.33 percent year-over-year, while revenue generation dropped by 17.37 percent,” the BTr said in a statement.

Revenues declined to P216.2 billion in the third month of the year from P261.6 billion in March 2020, while expenditures grew to P407.6 billion from P333.2 billion a year earlier.

The March budget deficit brought the year-to-date shortfall to P321.5 billion, wider than the P86.2 billion in the first three months of 2020.