Cabinet approves revised 2014 deficit estimate of less than 2% of GDP
The Cabinet yesterday acknowledged the revised estimate of a Bt250-billion budget deficit for fiscal 2014, down Bt50 billion from the previous estimate, while boasting that Thailand would become one of the few countries with a deficit under 2 per cent of gross domestic product.
Voravidh Champeeratana, director of the Budget Bureau, said the Cabinet approved the fiscal 2014 budget with expenditures set at Bt2.525 trillion and revenue after taxes at Bt2.275 trillion.
The revenue figure is 8.3 per cent higher than the previous fiscal 2013 estimate of Bt2.1 trillion.
Based on economic assumptions, the government revenue estimate and major policies, the deficit estimate for fiscal 2014 was set at Bt250 billion, down 16.7 per cent from the previous estimate and equivalent to 1.9 per cent of GDP, compared with the prior-year forecast of 2.5 per cent of GDP.
Fiscal 2014 expenditures consist of Bt2 trillion for regular items, Bt13.42 billion for replenishment of the treasury account, Bt457 billion for investment and Bt53.21 billion for loan-principal repayment.
Regular expenditures, which account for 79.3 per cent of the total budget, are up 5.3 per cent from fiscal 2013 while investment, which amounts to 18.1 per cent of the total budget, is up 1.5 per cent.
The 2014 budget estimate is based on forecasts of GDP growth at 4.5 per cent and inflation at 3.2 per cent. Economic growth will be driven by rising domestic demand. Exports could stage a recovery in the latter half of 2013. Inflation is likely to edge up after estimated rises in oil prices during the global economic recovery.
Government spokesman Tossaporn Serirak said few national governments could claim a budget deficit of less than 2 per cent of GDP.