Falling revenue, amid declining much-needed foreign grants, and rising spending pushed Jordan’s state budget into a JOD174mn ($245mn) deficit in the first quarter of the year, reversing a JOD79mn surplus the preceding year, preliminary data from the finance ministry showed.
Excluding grants, the budget gap hit JOD305mn in Q1, largely widening from a JOD126mn deficit in the same period of 2015.
Foreign grants fell 36% y/y to JOD130.4mn during the period. Jordan traditionally relies on foreign economic aid to help address its fiscal parameters. The government counts on upcoming inflows of US grants to adjust the budget gap in H2.
Total budget revenue dropped 4.5% y/y to JOD1.593bn in January-March whereas spending increased 11.1% y/y to JOD1.767bn mainly on soaring capital spending.
Domestic budget revenue ticked down 0.1% y/y to JOD1.463bn in the first three months of the year, mainly supported by higher tax collection on strong local and tourism demand that continues to support services income. Tax on goods and services rose 7.5% y/y in Q1 while that on property dealing grew 7.8% y/y. Customs duty, however, fell 8.6% y/y.
Current spending grew 9.5% y/y to JOD1.65bn in January-March and capital spending soared 41% y/y mainly due to low base effects.
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