12 Aug 2009 12:36

Russian budget deficit at 4.3% of GDP in first 7 mths

MOSCOW. Aug 12 (Interfax) - Russia's federal budget deficit amounted to 923.82 billion rubles or 4.3% of GDP in January-July 2009, the Finance Ministry reported, citing preliminary budget date for the first seven months.

The budget deficit in the first half of 2009 was 721.7 billion rubles or 4% of GDP compared with the preliminary estimate of 753.6 billion rubles or 4.2% of GDP. The deficit in July was 202.1 billion rubles or 5.9% of GDP in the month.

Budget revenue in the first seven months was 3.801 trillion rubles (56.6% of the target for the full year) and spending (cash basis) was 4.725 trillion rubles (48.3% of target).

The primary federal budget deficit through the first seven months was 820.83 billion rubles or 3.87% of GDP, based on preliminary data.

GDP in the first seven months was 21.3748 trillion rubles.

The 2009 budget projects a deficit of 7.4% of GDP or, with quasi-fiscal spending using National Welfare Fund resources taken into consideration, 8% of GDP. The budget assumes Urals crude averages at $41 a barrel this year and that GDP falls 2.2% in real terms from 2008.

The government currently thinks GDP will fall 8.5% in 2009 and that oil will average at $54 a barrel. The Finance Ministry forecasts the deficit could reach 9.4% if quasi-fiscal spending is included.

Federal tax revenue was 1.656 trillion rubles in January-July, or 63.5% of the year's target; customs revenue was 1.607 trillion rubles, or 46.3%; and property revenue was 16.37 billion rubles, or 46.2%.

Other federal revenue totaled 521.53 billion rubles, or 87.5% of the year's target but, excluding wealth fund assets, this was just 241.85 billion rubles, or 40.6% of the year's forecast target for other revenue.

The Reserve Find contained 4.028 trillion rubles in ruble equivalent and the Welfare Fund held 2.584 trillion rubles on January 1, 2009. The Reserve Fund had decreased to 2.811 trillion rubles as of August 1 because it had been used to finance the budget deficit, but the Welfare Fund had grown to 2.86 trillion rubles.