Government expenditure for the first four months of fiscal year 2019/20 (April-July) totalled $194.7 billion.
Of this sum, recurrent expenditure amounted to just over $179 billion, with capital expenditure totalling $15.6 billion, according to the Government’s 2019/20 Fiscal Policy Paper Interim Report.
The document indicates that while the figure is lower than budgeted this year, it was approximately $6.2 billion or 3.3 per cent more than the spend for the corresponding period in 2018/19.
A major contributor to the underspending, the Policy Paper notes, was lower than estimated interest costs, both on the domestic and external debt portfolios.
A breakdown of the recurrent expenditure figure shows that the out-turn was $822.5 million below budget, but just over $8 billion higher than the out-turn for the corresponding period in 2018/19.
The lower expenditure over the first four months of 2019/20 is attributed to interest payments falling short of budget by $3.4 billion, which was outweighed by higher than programmed spending on programmes and employee compensation.
The expenditure on programmes totalled $65.2 billion, which was $2.25 billion or 3.6 per cent greater than budget, and $2.59 billion or 4.2 per cent higher than April to July 2018.
This resulted from the advancement of some payments that were scheduled for the second quarter of the 2019/20 fiscal year, in order to offset an identified delay in capital spending.
According to the Policy Paper, this over-performance is expected to normalise as the year progresses.