Gov't posts third budget surplus this year
Prinz Magtulis (Philstar.com) - September 30, 2015 - 11:21pm

MANILA, Philippines - The Aquino administration's budget balance is back on black, recording its third surplus this year in August even as expenditures continued its rising trend, following dismal performance in early months.

The government posted a surplus of P15 billion in August, the Bureau of Treasury reported on Thursday. A surplus indicates more revenues were earned than spent.

Broken down, revenues amounted to P176.7 billion, while disbursements totaled P161.6 billion. Both indicators recorded growth rates of four percent and 15 percent, respectively.

From January to August, the budget deficit was further trimmed to P3.4 billion, way below the P197.2-billion program for the first eight months. The government has capped deficit at P283.7 billion this year.

"Sound fiscal management burnishes our credentials as one of Asia's safest and strongest, a boon for our investment and growth prospects," Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said in a statement.

"The Filipino people benefits from a better fiscal position," he added.

August marked the third time this year that monthly revenues fell in excess of what was disbursed, following similar results in April and May.

This was after state disbursements lagged behind - and sometimes, even contracted - behind program during the early months. It seemed to have turned a corner in July, when it posted its fastest expansion in 13 months.

Emilio Neri Jr., lead economist at the Bank of the Philippine Islands, said the latest result should bode well for third quarter economic growth if it was sustained in September.

"We would have wanted to see a much stronger print for government outlays for August, to help compensate for the El Nino's drag on over-all output," Neri said in a note.

"While lower than what we wished for, (expenditures) will still contribute positively to growth in the Philippines in the third quarter," he added.

APRIL AND MAY AQUINO BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS BILLION BUREAU OF TREASURY EL NINO EMILIO NERI JR. FINANCE SECRETARY CESAR PURISIMA FROM JANUARY NERI QUOT
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