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In the first four months of the year, Government’s Consolidated Fund registered a deficit of €614 million. Additionally, GDP was found to have decreased by 0.5 per cent.

The figures emerge from an update released by the National Statistics Office.

Government finance: January-April 2021

By April 2021, Recurrent Revenue amounted to €1,368.3 million, 17.2 per cent higher than the €1,167.6 million reported a year earlier.

The largest increase was recorded under Income Tax (€122.2 million), followed by Social Security (€59.7 million), Value Added Tax (€48.2 million), Fees of Office (€14.7 million) and Reimbursements (€1.6 million).

The rise in revenue was partially offset by decreases under Miscellaneous Receipts (€15.9 million), Grants (€12.2 million), Licences, Taxes and Fines (€6.4 million), Rents (€5.8 million), Customs and Excise Duties (€4.3 million) and Dividends on Investments (€1.2 million).

By the end of April 2021, total expenditure stood at €1,981.9 million, 11.7 per cent higher than the previous year. During the reference period, Recurrent Expenditure totalled €1,751.9 million, a rise of €260.7 million in comparison to the €1,491.2 million reported by the end of April 2020.

The main contributor to this increase was a €173.9 million rise reported under Programmes and Initiatives.

Furthermore, increases were also witnessed under Personal Emoluments (€66.1 million), Operational and Maintenance Expenses (€16.0 million) and Contributions to Government Entities (€4.7 million).

The largest development in the Programmes and Initiatives category is related to the Pandemic assistance scheme (€129.4 million), which includes the COVID-19 Business Assistance Programme.

Other increases under Programmes and Initiatives were reported under Hospital concession agreements (€31.0 million), Social security benefits (€14.3 million), Church schools (€8.7 million) and St Vincent de Paul Residence service contract (€6.2 million).

GDP

In another release, the NSO said provisional estimates indicate that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the first quarter of 2021 amounted to €3,252 million, registering a decrease of €17.8 million, or 0.5 per cent, when compared to the same quarter of 2020.

The main drivers of this negative growth rate in volume terms were service activities and industry.

In volume terms, GDP fell by 1.8 per cent.

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