Central Bank: $85.8 mil. fiscal deficit decline
The fiscal deficit has decreased by $85.8 million for the first five months of the current fiscal year, according to The Central Bank of The Bahamas’ (CBOB) monthly economic report for December, released yesterday.
The report states that government expenditure for the period in review experienced a $56.9 million decrease and revenue increased by $28.9 million.
“The improvement in revenue was undergirded by a $27.2 million (4.3 percent) rise in tax receipts to $659.2 million, amid a $15.7 million (6.0 percent) increase in value-added tax (VAT) collections,” the report states.
“Broad-based gains also occurred for most of the remaining categories, with receipts from taxes on international trade firming by $7.7 million (3.7 percent), due mainly to higher excise taxes.
“In addition, business and professional fees raised by $6 million (46.2 percent), on account of gains in general business license fees, while higher gaming tax revenue was responsible for the $1.5 million (15.5 percent) advance in selective taxes on services.
“Further, ‘other’ miscellaneous taxes were virtually unchanged, as the $7.4 million (42.6 percent) falloff in unclassified stamp taxes, negated gains in motor vehicle and property taxes.”
The regulator also explained that the reduction in expenditure was “solely attributed” to a halving in capital outlays, by $61 million, to $59.7 million.
“The ratcheting down of hurricane-related spending decreased infrastructure expenditure by $48.1 million (48.8 percent), while asset acquisitions declined by $13 million (58.3 percent),” the report states.
“In contrast, current expenditure edged up by $4.3 million (0.5 percent) to $846.4 million, driven by a $40 million (9.4 percent) increase in consumption outlays.”
In addition, spending for wages and salaries increased by $22.7 million and purchases of goods and services also increased by $17.2 million, according to the report.
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