The government has met the 7-and-a-half percent primary surplus, set by the IMF, for the 2014-2015 fiscal year which ended in March.
That’s according to provisional data in the Ministry of Finance’s monthly summary of fiscal performance.
The primary surplus is: government revenues minus non-interest expenditure.
It amounted to 117-point-2 billion dollars.
Meanwhile, Revenues and Grants were 16 billion dollars behind target.
There’s been anxiety over the government’s ability to meet the primary surplus target for the recently ended 2014-2015 fiscal year, given the under-performance in tax collections in recent months.
Last month Co-Chair of the Economic Programme Oversight Committee, EPOC, Richard Byles, told reporters that despite his own concern over the figures, he’d been given an assurance by Financial Secretary, Devon Rowe, that the primary surplus target would be met.
And so, the country can now breathe a collective sigh of relief with data from the Finance Ministry indicating that although the government missed its own target for the primary surplus, it has met the IMF’s target of 7-and-a-half percent of GDP.
According to the Ministry, the Primary Surplus for the fiscal year amounted to 117-point-2 billion dollars.
This is 4 billion dollars below the government’s own target.
The fiscal data indicates that the lower-than-targeted outturn for the primary balance was largely due to one-off factors which resulted in lower than expected revenues.
In a release today the Ministry says the fiscal outturn was negatively influenced by better than expected inflation over the period.
It says slower than projected real GDP growth arising from unforeseen shocks, including the extensive drought, along with the impact of the first full year of the new Fiscal Incentive regime, were among the other factors which caused a lower than expected growth in tax revenues.
Meanwhile, Revenues and Grants amounted to 411-point-7 billion dollars.
This is 16 billion dollars or almost 4 percent behind target, and was largely the result of under-performance of tax revenue by over just 13 billion dollars.
Grants were 3-point-6 billion dollars or 42 percent below target.
Government spending was also notably below projections.
Expenditure for the full fiscal year amounted to 419-and-a-half billion dollars.
This was almost 20 billion dollars or 4-and-a-half percent below the amount the government had intended to spend.
A significant portion of the under-spending – almost 12 billion dollars was due to cuts in Capital expenditure – which includes spending on infrastructure such as roads and bridges.
Recurrent spending – which includes spending on items such as wages, utilities, stationary – was 8 billion dollars less than planned.