Sri Lanka budget deficit expands at a slower pace in May 2009

Aug 18, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s runaway budget deficit expanded at a slower pace in May 2009, though the gap in the current account widened to a new record, the latest official data show. The revenue or current account deficit of the budget, which is the difference between total revenues and current (day-to-day) expenses, expanded to a historic 133.5 billion rupees in May from 118.2 billion rupees in April.

In 2008, the full year current account deficit was 88.4 billion rupees.

With total revenues at 239.4 billion rupees the overall deficit (which includes capital expenditure) for the 5-months to May was 231.7 billion rupees, or an estimated 4.7 percent of gross domestic product.

The estimated annualized deficit based on the first five months performance had now narrowed to 11.3 percent of GDP from 12.0 percent a month ago.

In May total revenues overtook the overall deficit. In the 4-months to April, the overall deficit at 199.6 billion rupees was greater than the revenue of 190.1 billion rupees.

It is not clear whether Sri Lanka’s budgets had ever weakened into a peculiar situation where the ove