Lower deficit registered in first eight months of 2016 – Finance Ministry

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Lower deficit registered in first eight months of 2016 - Finance MinistryThe Ministry for Finance has said in a statement, that a surplus of €61.9 million was recorded in the consolidated fund during the month of August while the deficit for the first eight months of this year decreased to almost half that recorded last year.

This data emerged from the latest Government Finance Data issued by the National Statistics Office covering January to August of this year, it said.

"During the same period, the consolidated fund deficit decreased to €79.1 million from the €141.0 million recorded in the corresponding period of last year, this as Government expenditure increased by €38.3 million or 1.6 per cent, while recurrent revenue increased by €100.2 million or 4.5 per cent."

The Ministry said that recurrent revenue continued to be strong with revenue from taxes increasing by €200.5 million. This reflected the robust economic growth rate recorded in the first half of this year supported by strong increases in consumption, investment and employment.

"The remarkable increase in net revenue was achieved in spite of the significant fall in EU grants reflecting the closure of the European Union financing period 2007-2013 at the end of last year. Reductions in the EU grant component is being balanced by lower EU-funded capital expenditure. In fact, capital expenditure for the first eight months was €83.1 million lower than the peak of the previous year."

Minister for Finance Edward Scicluna remarked that, "these latest figures confirm that this government is steering the country's finances in the right direction with expenditure increasing at a lower rate than revenue. As a result, both the deficit and the public debt burden are gradually falling, contrary to what the Opposition has been alleging."

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