11 May 2018 12:42

Russian budget surplus could be 0.45% of GDP in 2018 - draft amendments

MOSCOW. May 11 (Interfax) -The Russian budget surplus in 2018 could be 440.625 billion rubles or 0.45% of GDP, according to a draft amendment to the budget law for 2018 and the 2019-2020 planning period, published by the Russian Finance Ministry on the official state portal for legislative information.

The Finance Ministry is proposing that forecasting parameters based on which the budget is determined be changed in this year's budget. The 2018 GDP forecast has been raised from 97.462 trillion rubles to 98.234 trillion rubles. The inflation forecast, meanwhile, has been reduced from 4% to 2.8%. This was the reduction in inflation envisaged by the Economic Development Ministry in its 2018 socio-economic development forecast.

Budget revenues are to increase by nearly 2 trillion rubles this year, from 15.258 trillion rubles to 17.032 trillion, spurred by oil and gas revenues. Thus, the volume of additional oil and gas revenues, which constitute the National Wealth Fund, will grow from 527.57 billion rubles to 2.740 trillion rubles. The Finance Ministry estimated earlier that at an average oil price of $54-$55/barrel, roughly 2 trillion rubles in additional oil and gas revenues could be allocated for FX purchasing in the domestic market, with that total rising to 2.8 trillion rubles with oil prices at $60/barrel.

Budget expenditures are to remain at practically the same level - 16.591 trillion rubles, compared with 16.530 trillion rubles in the current law.

Thus, instead of a deficit of 1.271 trillion rubles, or 1.3% of GDP, a surplus of 440.625 billion rubles or 0.45% of GSP is expected. Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov has already said that 2018 budget amendments would envisage a surplus of 0.5% of GDP. Prior to that, the Finance Ministry estimated the possible surplus at 1.5%-2% of GDP. The last time a federal budget surplus was logged was 2011.

The Finance Ministry is, as promised, increasing the volume of domestic borrowing by 227 billion rubles, from 817.042 billion rubles to 1.044 trillion rubles. The maximum amount of external borrowings remained practically unchanged at $6.968 billion.

The upper bounds of internal state debt under state guarantees have been reduced from 2.375 trillion rubles to 1.959 trillion rubles, with limits for external debts also down from $33.5 billion or 27.9 billion euros to $22.9 billion or 18.3 billion euros.