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HomeNewsTunisia: budget deficit widens by 48% in Q1 to 1.4 billion dinars

Tunisia: budget deficit widens by 48% in Q1 to 1.4 billion dinars

The examination of the provisional results of the execution of the State Budget at the end of March 2020 shows a budget deficit of 1.4 billion dinars, against a deficit of 0.94 billion at the same date of the previous year, or a 48% increase.

Compared to the results recorded at the end of March 2019, total state revenue has almost stagnated (+0.9%) to reach 10.75 billion dinars.

It is composed of 7.7 billion dinars of own revenues (-4.1%) and 3 billion dinars of borrowing and treasury resources (+16.5%).

In detail, the State’s tax revenues during the first three months of the year amounted to 6.7 billion dinars, compared to 7.3 billion a year ago, i.e. a drop of -8.3%.

As for non-tax revenues, they posted a growth of +37% to stand at 1 billion dinars.

At the end of last March, direct taxes stood at 2.96 billion dinars compared to 3.4 billion a year earlier, a decrease of -12.9%.

This amount comes mainly from income tax of 2.25 billion dinars (-3.5%) and corporate tax of 709 million dinars (-33.5%), of which 152.4 million dinars was taxed on oil companies (-20%).

As for indirect taxes, they fell by -4.3% to 3.75 billion dinars. These taxes come mainly from VAT for 1.7 billion dinars (-8.8%), Consumption duties for 666.8 million dinars (+1.6%) and Customs duties for 302.3 million dinars (+0.2%).

On the expenditure side, the virtual stagnation observed in the first quarter (+0.9%) is mainly due to the combined effect of the +2.1% rise in expenditure excluding principal and the -5.3% fall in principal repayments.

Indeed, non-principal expenditure stood at 9.14 billion dinars at the end of March. It mainly come from management expenditure for 6.2 billion dinars (+15.1%), interest on debt for 1 billion dinars (-2.4%) and capital (development) expenditure for 669.5 million dinars (-50%).

As for the repayment of the principal of the debt, it went from 1.7 billion dinars at the end of March 2019 to 1.6 billion on March 31.

At the end of last March, the public debt stock reached 83.5 billion dinars, compared to 82.5 billion at the end of 2019, divided between 59.5 billion external debt and 24 billion domestic debt.

In addition, the budget deficit recorded in the first quarter of the current year (-1.4 billion dinars) was covered to the tune of 1.1 billion dinars by net domestic financing and 259 million dinars by net external financing.

It should be recalled that the budget law for the financial year 2020 expects a budget deficit of 3.78 billion dinars representing 3% of GDP, against a deficit of 4 billion dinars (3.5% of GDP) for 2019.

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