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Public debt drops to 95.8 of GDP as budget deficit rises to JD435.1 million

Finance Ministry says increase in deficit due to spending JD155 million on cash support

By JT - Jul 05,2018 - Last updated at Jul 05,2018

AMMAN — The total public debt at the end of May amounted to JD27,751 million, constituting 95.8 per cent of the estimated Gross Domestic Product (GDP), compared to JD27,269.2 million, constituting 95.9 per cent of GDP, in the same month of 2017, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The Ministry of Finance said in its monthly report of the most prominent financial developments that the debts of the National Electricity Power Company (NEPCO) and the Water Authority, guaranteed by the central government, amounted to about JD 7.3 billion.

The net public debt at the end of May of this year showed a rise of JD834.5 million, compared to the end of 2017. The ministry explained that the funds were borrowed to offset the general budget deficit and cover guaranteed loans for NEPCO and the water authority, so the public debt reached JD26,270.3 million, constituting 90.7 per cent of the estimated GDP at the end of May 2018, compared with JD25,4357 million, constituting 89.4 per cent of GDP, for 2017.

The existing balance of external debt (budget and guaranteed) at the end of May 2018 decreased by JD257 million to reach JD11,610.1 million, constituting 40.1 per cent of the estimated GDP for the end of May 2018, compared to JD11,867.2 million, constituting 41.7 per cent of GDP at the end of 2017.

Meanwhile, the budget deficit amounted to JD435.1 million at the end of May of this year, compared to a deficit of JD326.2 million for the same period of 2017.

The Ministry of Finance said the increase of the deficit is due to spending JD155 million as cash support, including some JD85 million paid in advance for the remaining period until the end of the year.

The Ministry also revealed in its monthly financial developments report that the deficit before external grants amounted to about JD513 million, compared to a deficit of about JD424.7 million for the same comparison period.

The ministry noted that the government is working to achieve the deficit estimated in the General Budget Law, estimated at JD523 million, noting that the deficit will decrease by the end of the year to reach the target levels with the receipt of most grants, especially the US grant.

Domestic revenues and external grants witnessed a rise by the end of May, according to the ministry, where domestic revenues rose by JD81 million to reach JD2,932.6 million, compared with JD2,851.6 million for the same period in 2017.

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