Fiscal surplus slides 31.4 pct as at end‑April


The MSAR’s fiscal surplus amounted to MOP14.5 billion (US$1.8 billion) for the first four months of the year, which represents a year-on-year decline of 31.4 per cent compared to the MOP21.1 billion recorded one year ago, due to the continual decrease in the government’s received revenue. Between January and April, the fiscal surplus posted by the Special Administrative Region had already surpassed the government’s budgeted amount of about MOP3.5 billion for the whole year of 2016, with the budget execution rate reaching 417.7 per cent. In fact, the government’s revenue in these four months was still affected by the city’s gaming downturn, with received direct taxes from the sector falling 15.1 per cent year-on-year to MOP26.8 billion in the period. This decrease dragged down total revenue by 15.8 per cent year-on-year to MOP32.1 billion for the months. Nevertheless, the amount that the government has raked in is in line with its own expectations. If monthly revenue remains at the same level for the rest of the year as shown in these four months, which amounts to some MOP8 billion per month, annual revenue would still outperform the budgeted MOP92 billion for this fiscal year. On the other hand, government expenditure totalled MOP17.7 billion for the first four months, up 3.6 per cent year-on-year compared to MOP17 billion during the same period of last year. Total expenditure accounts for nearly 20 per cent of the annual budget of MOP88.6 billion. Of the total, the majority was classified as current expenditure – MOP17.1 billion for the period – up 7.5 per cent year-on-year from MOP15.9 billion one year ago. Meanwhile, the government’s capital expenditure was slashed by 51.1 per cent year-on-year to MOP553.7 million. Amounts spent on the investment plan (PIDDA) totalled MOP541.5 million, which only accounted for 4.9 per cent of the annual budgeted amount of MOP11 billion.