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Tunisia: budget deficit improves by 28% in Q1

Tunisia’s budget deficit has improved by 28% in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same period of the previous year, to 760 million dinars.

As evidenced by the provisional results of the execution of the state budget at the end of March 2021, this improvement in the budget deficit is the result of the combined effect of the decrease in state spending and the increase in tax revenues.

Thus, budgetary resources stood at 7.85 billion dinars, at the end of March 2021, compared to 7.7 billion on the same date a year ago, a slight growth of 1.7%. This development is mainly due to the increase in tax revenues of 13% from 6.7 billion dinars to 7.6 billion. In contrast, non-tax revenues show a drop of 77% to 235 million dinars.

As for direct taxes, they went up 9.8% at the end of March to 3.25 billion dinars.

In detail, the income tax increased by 10.1% to 2.5 billion dinars, including 1.65 billion taxes on wages (+10.5%).

For revenues from corporate taxes, they grew 9.1% to 773.7 million dinars due to the increase in taxes on non-oil companies by 11% to 620 million dinars.

As for indirect taxes, they went up 5.5% to 4.3 billion dinars. This growth is mainly due to the increase in customs duties by 9.7% to 327.8 million dinars, VAT by 21.5% to 2 billion dinars and consumption duties by 12.4% to 750 million dinars. In addition, other indirect taxes posted an increase of 9.5% to 1.17 billion dinars.

With regard to the total expenditure of the state, they stood to 9.2 billion dinars at the end of last March, against 9.15 billion a year earlier.

These expenditures are composed of budgetary expenses for 8.6 billion dinars (-2.3%) and loans of 623.2 million dinars.

The budgetary expenses are composed mainly (60%) of salary expenses which reached 5.15 billion dinars, up 4.7%.

As for operating expenses they have decreased to 1.55 billion dinars, down 12%.

For expenses relating to interest on debt, they increased by 1.2% to 1 billion dinars at the end of last March.

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