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Government debt at end of March up €346 m on last year

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Government debt at end of March up €346 m on last yearAccording to figures from the National Statistics Office, total General Government debt outstanding at the end of March 2011 increased by €346.0 million from the comparable period in 2010, and amounted to €4,397.7 million. Central Government debt increased by €345.9 million. This was underpinned by higher long-term securities (Malta Government Stocks), which went up by €455.8 million. On the other hand, Central Governmen short-term securities declined by €118.0 million. The euro coins issued in the name of the Treasury which are considered as a currency liability pertaining to the Central Government, amounted to €40.7 million, a rise of €3.8 million over the euro coin stock recorded at the end of March 2010. In addition, the Local Government debt edged up by €0.2 million.

In the first quarter this year, the General Government account registered a shortfall of €43.0 million.

The deficit recorded by the General Government for the first quarter of 2011 amounted to €43.0 million, down from €44.6 million in the comparable period last year.

During the March quarter, total revenue stood at €638.3 million, an increase of €65.7 million compared to the corresponding quarter in 2010. The main contributors were ‘current taxes on income and wealth’ (+€47.9 million), ‘social contributions receivable’ (+€10.9 million) and ‘taxes on production and imports’ (+€5.6 million). On the other hand ‘property income receivable’ declined by €6.2 million.

Total expenditure during the first quarter this year amounted to €681.3 million. The comparative increase of €64.1 million was the result of higher ‘social benefits and social transfers in kind (+€30.3 million), ‘intermediate consumption’ (+€26.2 million), ‘property income’ (+€15.1 million and ‘compensation of employees’ (+€6.2 million). Conversely, lower expenditure was recorded in ‘current’ and ‘capital transfers payable’ by €8.8 million and €6.7 million respectively.

During the period under review, a major increase in financial transactions in assets was recorded in ‘other accounts receivable’ of €152.5 million. Other increases were registered in ‘short-term loans’ of €26.3 million and ‘long-term loans’ of €23.6 million, mainly on account of loans granted to the national airline (€26.4 million) and to Greece (€20.0 million). These were outweighed by declines in ‘currency and deposits’ and ‘shares and other equity’ of €25.2 million and €7.4 million respectively.

With regard to financial transactions in liabilities, ‘long-term securities’ advanced by €102.2 million while ‘short-term securities’ went up by €37.7 million. ‘Long-term loans’ exhibited an increase o €10.8 million while ‘short-term loans’ declined by €6.0 million. An increase of €95.7 million was recorded in ‘other accounts payable.’

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